NEW BESPOKE JEWELLERY STORE IN MARMION ROAD
The end of November saw the opening of The Workshop, a new bespoke goldsmith workshop on Marmion Road in Southsea. This new Portsmouth craft business sees an expansion of Charlotte Cornelius from her Castle Road boutique with London goldsmith Phil Wilkins, with an emphasis on original designs created in partnership with clients with innovative and original techniques and ethically sourced materials.
The Workshop is huge, with different sections including a large boutique store in the front, with a variety of jewellery designs available, a basement materials workshop and a design workshop in the back, with glass walls allowing you to see the goldsmiths and jewellery makers at work. Also on the walls complimenting the creative jewellery on show are some large works of art by Southsea artist Roo Abrook.
We recently visited The Workshop at 87A Marmion Road (which is a new neighbour to our Strong Island Clothing Co store) to have a look around and find out more, plus we caught up with goldsmith Phil Wilkins for an exclusive interview.
…a new bespoke goldsmith workshop on Marmion Road…
…The bijoux design boutique is bursting with their exclusive Ready to Wear collections as well as a comfortable area for sitting down to discuss design ideas for bespoke jewellery…
Charlotte Cornelius in Castle Road
The team at Charlotte Cornelius celebrated their second anniversary in Castle Road in September with a big birthday bash. The bijoux design boutique is bursting with their exclusive Ready to Wear collections as well as a comfortable area for sitting down to discuss design ideas for bespoke jewellery such as one off engagement and wedding rings.
As a graduate from Portsmouth College of Art (as it was then known) Charlotte travelled the UK working in high-end retail jewellery and then for a British jewellery manufacturer for several years before setting up her home studio on Hayling Island. Charlotte Cornelius Bespoke Jewellery was born from Charlotte’s experience of travelling the length and breadth of the UK and becoming very disillusioned with the lack of choice and design outside of London for clients wanting a more personal and quality experience.
Goldsmith Phil Wilkins Interview
How did you get into Goldsmithing?
I actually started off studying Landscape Gardening but wasn’t really enjoying it – then went to help my dad out who is also a Goldsmith and then realised that is what I really wanted to pursue.
Where did you complete your Apprenticeship? What does it entail?
My apprenticeship was at the British designer Theo Fennell in London. It was 6 years of learning every aspect of working at the bench in their bespoke workshop, under Theo Fennell the Master Goldsmith. Theo is a very flamboyant designer so during this time I made many pieces for people in the film and music industry however confidentiality doesn’t allow disclosure of names!
Do you have any awards?
Yes several including Goldsmiths Crafts Council award for Diamond Mounting, Podolski Award for the best up-and-coming under 30 year old in the industry. Also Gold Medal at the UK Skills Goldsmithing competition.
What items are you most proud of?
Masterpiece made at end of my apprenticeship symbolised the culmination of my apprenticeship and gained me the Freedom of the City of London and of Goldsmiths Company.
…I made many pieces for people in the film and music industry however confidentiality doesn’t allow disclosure of names…
…creating very unusual and large pieces for clients, often Royalty, from all around the world…
Where has your career led you since then?
Having stayed on at Theo’s for 2 more years after I qualified I decided to spread my wings and came to work for a long established company based in Petworth who are world renowned and specialise in producing models and medals in silver – this sent me around the world.
I then moved to back in North London, to work for another large workshop creating very unusual and large pieces for clients, often Royalty, from all around the world.
What brought you to CC ltd and Southsea from London?
Great opportunity settle and build home – and work for a company with a future. As I had bought a house in Chichester – I was commuting weekly and staying in London during the week. this meant I was only at home at weekends and I wanted to live in the area. So when I saw Charlotte’s advertisement in the trade I applied immediately as it fitted for location as well as the opportunity to develop and progress my career in an dynamic new company with a small team of like-minded people.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The variety of the work, no two days are the same, I love the satisfaction of working with lovely materials and to see the reactions of the customers, which is what i missed when working in workshop alone!
What are the biggest challenges?
Everything being handmade – every job is different and tackled as a new and unknown piece.
What are the most unusual pieces you have made?
A scale model of a stately home belonging to Royalty in solid sterling silver, which was then gold plated – approx half a metre square weighing 20 kg. on a solid Lapis-Lazuli base which took a year to complete!
The Workshop is now open in the East End of Marmion Road, a great spot to explore for gifts in the run up to Christmas. The Workshop’s opening hours are:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday – 10am to 6pm
Thursday – 11am to 7pm.
To find out more visit the following: