Inside the Designer's Studio: The Making of Atlantis
As our newest gemstone collection landed, we spoke to MV designer Amber Maufe to get the back story on Atlantis, and what inspires her work.
What's your position in the MV creative team?
I'm a designer and my job is to support the development of new jewellery. The concept for a new collection always comes from Monica and can take many forms, whether it's drawings in her sketch book or a stone she's fallen in love with. I help bring those initial ideas to life.
How do you take those original sparks of ideas from Monica and end up with an entire collection?
Every collection has its own story. Take our latest gemstone collection for example. Monica had a folder called Atlantis stashed away on her computer for years, with amazing images and original sketches on the theme of the mythical lost city. It's my job to gather all this inspiration and display it on moodboards to help things take shape visually. I work with Monica to expand on what we have, collating more images from books, trend websites and Pinterest.
Next, we extract those images that contain the colours, shapes, feel and textures that work best with Monica's vision. This means we can start designing to a refined theme. I'll print off and cut up our initial designs. I often have Blu Tacked paper earrings on my ears - sounds silly but it really helps to see what works!
As far as editing the collection goes, colour is always a driving force, and the stones themselves often dictate the shape and cut you can make. Sampling is vital and often the longest part of the design process. Having something tangible in our hands always helps spur further inspiration.
We then start to match certain finishes with certain stones and get a feel for how the collection's pieces sit together and complement each other. You can see this clearly in Atlantis where we team Turquoise and Dendritic Agate with a gold finish for summer vibrancy, and the Grey Agate and Lapis come in a more muted and sophisticated rose gold.
If you could summarise the new collection in three words what would they be?
Vibrant. Charmed. Contemporary.
What's your personal favourite piece from Atlantis and why?
The Eye Pendant in Dendritic Agate. I love the way the simple shape acts as a blank canvas for such a characterful stone. Dendritic Agate is a stone we've never used before so it's quite representative of the whole collection in the sense that it breaks boundaries. The subtle reference to the Evil Eye talisman just adds to its charm.
The MV creative team is based in the British countryside in Norfolk. Do you find this influences your work?
Completely! As much as I love the buzz of the city, I was born and bred in Norfolk and never tire of its beauty. Nature is the best designer so it's definitely good to be in touch with it. Sometimes I pinch myself that I don't see a soul on the way to work and then I can then open the office door to a hive of international activity.
At the weekends you can find me metal detecting for treasure, fossil hunting and collecting feathers. All that said, I'm constantly in touch with our London office and get to head there regularly for meetings and to see our boutiques, so I get the best of both worlds really.
Who are your style icons?
I love Australian model Alexandra Spencer and her style blog 4th and Bleeker. For me, the all-time epitome of elegance is Grace Kelly.
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