Emerging jewellery designer Louie Cresswell rethinks the aesthetics of functional items in his jewellery brand, Ouie. His pieces, created with London ateliers in 18ct or 9ct gold, as well as in sterling silver, are paired with pearls, pavé-set diamonds and Japanese silk cords, making for offbeat adornments.
‘I am completely self-taught,’ says Cresswell of his background. ‘I grew up in Brighton and everyone in my family is very creative and entrepreneurial so it felt natural to start building something of my own. I have always been obsessed with small mechanisms – figuring out how they work and fit together – so the natural progression was to develop the idea of the lock stopper. After connecting with a few people who worked within the jewellery scene, I came up with the idea to elevate the cord stopper and make it out of something precious – solid 18ct gold.’
‘Originally it was supposed to be a unique piece just for me to wear but after receiving a lot of good feedback from my friends and family – and finding more mechanisms to play with – I decided to start designing a full collection of jewellery. The next mechanism I decided to elevate was the simple keyring loop and the rest is history.’
Cresswell’s designs are meant to be played with. Keyring chains can be connected to bracelets, while toggles feature interchangeable heads and cords, encouraging personalisation. ‘One of the biggest challenges is getting the products to feel right,’ he adds. ‘It’s easy enough to have an idea for a product and bring it to life in precious metal, but getting to a point where I feel happy with the end result is a different story.
‘I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist and I won’t put a product out if I don’t feel as if it meets the high standards of Ouie. The toggles have been the most complicated product to get right. As they consist of two small moving parts, everything has to fit together seamlessly or they just won’t work. A lot of time is spent making something then testing it and wearing it, making small adjustments with each revision until we have the finished product that you will be able to see, feel and ultimately buy.’
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