Meet The Cornish Jeweller, Thomas Matthews
What's it like to run a jewellery business from Cornwall's largest creative hub?
Today we find out, as we chat to Thomas Matthews, a jeweller who has recently opened a studio in Krowji.
We chat to Tom all about how his jewellery making journey started, his top tips for those wishing to have their own handmade business and why he chose to have a studio rather than work from home.
Tom has had over 1,300 sales on Etsy, and it's no surprise with his attention to detail and use of beautiful gemstones.
He often creates engagement rings and takes commissions, ensuring he creates the most high-quality pieces - we even get an insight into his creative processes and behind the scenes action!
"I find the best way to learn a new technique is to study the theory and fully understand how the technique works..."
Hi Tom, tell us how you first discovered making jewellery!
I discovered jewellery making when a family member took a short silversmithing course, this peeked my interest and I started researching and watching YouTube videos for more information.
From there my passion has grown, along with my tool collection! I opened my Etsy shop with just a few items as a hobby and before I knew it I was fortunate enough to be able to make jewellery my
How did you make the decision to make jewellery full time?
After opening my Etsy shop in 2015 sales were slow but
What was your experience like learning jewellery making techniques?
Learning new techniques
I find the best way to learn a new technique is to study the theory and fully understand how the technique works, that way I have a better understanding of the process, helping me to master the practical side.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
18ct yellow gold has a great colour and is
How would you describe your jewellery in 3 words?
Simple, traditional and colourful
You recently moved into Krowji in Redruth, tell us more about why you chose this space and how you made it your own
Before moving into to my studio at Krowji I was working from an outbuilding at home.
Although it was great to work from home, I much prefer being surrounded by other creative people.
It opened up a whole new network of connections and it’s great being able to share some of my own knowledge and experiences with other members too.
As I have not long moved in I am still making it my own by building new benches and customizing the space for my needs, I hope to soon be able to offer jewellery making workshops and private tuition too.
"I personally like to start with a rough idea and allow the design to evolve as I make it. I find I create my most popular designs this way and it really tests my practical skills..."
What is the best thing about being a jeweller in Cornwall?
Since moving into Krowji I have noticed just how much support and guidance there is available for creative people living in Cornwall.
There’s also a very good mentality in Cornwall for supporting local businesses, which is great to be a part of.
We love your use of gemstones in your designs, how do you choose which ones you use - especially if you're using more than one!
I quite often design the jewellery around the gemstone and tailor the design to what I think would best suit the cut and shape of the stone.
Hardness is also a key factor when designing a new piece, this will help decide the best type of setting to avoid damage to the stone when setting and withstand years of everyday wearing.
Favourite spot in Cornwall?
Porthtowan is somewhere I love to visit, I have enjoyed many days surfing and relaxing on the beach reading a book with my partner. Whenever we’ve got free time you’ll quite often find us there!
What has been your favourite commission so far?
I was fortunate enough to be asked to make an engagement ring for my brother. It was a challenging task at the time but I was able to create the ring to his exact requirements and learn some new techniques in the process.
I look forward to hopefully one day to be able to do this for other family members and friends.
What kind of person do you envisage wearing your pieces when designing your jewellery?
I’ve found that a wide variety of people like my
Do you like to stay up to date with current trends?
I tend not to follow trends and prefer to create the jewellery I like and hope others do too. Moving forward with my business I want to focus
You create stunning engagement rings, what is your process of designing these pieces?
Many designers bring their new ideas to life by sketching and planning every detail, I personally like to start with a rough idea and allow the design to evolve as I make it. I find I create my most popular designs this way and it really tests my practical skills.
A key factor in designing an engagement ring is to ensure that it withstands the test of time, this is why each piece I design not only showcases the gemstone but is also practical.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start selling their jewellery?
To keep costs down, e
I would also recommend starting with selling adjustable or one size fits all jewellery such as necklaces, earrings or adjustable rings. This allows you to make at your own speed and not have the stress of deadlines for made to order pieces.
Thomas' Top Kernowcraft Picks
Sterling Silver Beaded Wire
This is a great product for making stacking rings and adding detail to a piece.
Limited edition stones
There’s always a great selection of unique gemstones to inspire a piece with Kernowcraft.
Also in this section:
- Day In The Life Of Cornish Eco Jeweller Sarah Drew Jewellery
- Anxiety Jewellery & Favourite Gems With Rozen Jewellery
- Day In The Life Of A Jeweller With Gretel's Metals
- Sea Glass, Healing Gemstones & Cornish Coastal Inspiration With Ula Jewellery
- ‘A Heart of Gold’ Jewellery Collaboration, Raising Awareness of Heart Disease in Women
- Stone Setting, Diamonds & Jewellery Design With Goldsmith Sonia Cheadle
- Magical Metal Clay, Nature & Gems With Susan Studd
- Chatting To Truro College Exhibition Silversmith Winner, Esther Moore
- Handmade Jewellery Inspired By Japanese Heritage & Philosophy With Kumiko
- Creating Unique Jewellery Collections With Gem Lark Jewellery
- Crystal Jewellery With Jessica From 'Roses & Whiskey'
- Statement Crystal Jewellery With FIRENZA
- Electroplating & Crystals With Studio Roan
- Chatting Beading & Wirework With Author & Tutor Sara Withers
- A Day In The Life With Soul Purpose Jewellery
- Meet Jeweller, Tutor & Author Anastasia Young
- A Day In The Life Of A Jeweller With Basia From Stardust Mine Jewellery
- Meet The Jeweller, Author & Tutor Jinks McGrath
- Meet The Maker Transforming Coins & Scrap Metal Into Fun Characters
- Behind the Scenes At The Jewellers Retreat - An Interview With Jessica Rose
- Combining Skills Of Illustration & Metalsmithing With The Sylvan Smith
- Magical & Whimsical Jewellery With Manom Jewellery
- How To Work With Gemstones As A Jeweller With Gemmologist Sally Spencer
- Sea Glass, Personalisation & Christian Jewellery With Jordan Lily
- Chatting Beads, Etsy & Social Media With Emma From Evren Blue
- Garden Studio Tour, Jewellery Making & Packaging With Little Black Cat Jewellery
- Jewellery Inspired By Cornwall, Magic & Myth With Gemheaven Jewellery
- Sand Casting Silver Cockle Shells & Nature Inspired Jewellery With Anna Davenport
- Day In The Life Of Running A Sea Glass Jewellery Business With Created By Niki
- Leo + Elk On Running A Family Business During A Pandemic
- A Day In The Life Of A Jeweller: Finding Normality Again With Kim Thomson
- Gemstone, Body Positivity & Black Lives Matter Designs With 'Jewellery By Eilatan'
- Meet The 'All That Glitters' Contestants Of Series 1
- Briolette Jewellery, Etsy & Learning With Ocean & Earth Jewellery
- What's Inside A Travelling Jeweller's Briefcase?
- Combining Sea Glass & Diamonds With Glasswing Jewellery
- Bohemian Luxe Handmade Jewellery With 'Feathers And Wings'
- Diamonds & Granulation With Milly Maunder
- Then & Now, Jewellery Through The Ages With Sam Stirrat
- Metalsmithing & Granulation With Sophie Cunliffe
- Contemporary Engagement Rings With William White
- Designing An Engagement Ring With Guest Writer Sea Surf Rocks
- Meet The Jeweller & Author Of 'Soldering For Jewellers' Rebecca Skeels
- Jewellery Making Notebook Tour With Jasmine Butler
- Running A Handmade Jewellery Business During A Pandemic With 'Louy Magroos'
- Home Jewellery Studio Tour & Top Tips With Jodie Fern
- Let's Talk Business With Jeweller & Tutor, Karen Young
- Nature & Mental Health Jewellery With Lost Kove
- Meet The Jeweller Behind Hazey Designs
- Jewellery Making Storage Tour With Scruffy Dog Silver
- Meet The Beader Behind Dainty Rocks
- Jewellery Workshop Tour With Little Silver Star
- Mindful Gemstone Jewellery With The Sea Tree Company
- Let's Talk Sea Glass Jewellery With Sadie Jewellery
- Chatting Beads & Growing A Jewellery Business With Liz Lloyd
- Beading With Carolyn Anne Jewellery
- Jewellers Of Colour: Connecting BAME Jewellers In The Jewellery Industry
- Meet The Self-Taught Jeweller Behind Corzana
- Meet The Jeweller Behind The Messy Creative
- Handmade Button Jewellery With Crafty Little Koala
- Beautiful Gemstones For Beautiful Skin With Inlight Beauty
- Meet The Boho Jeweller Behind Moonsalt Jewellery
- Etsy Success & Personalisation With Little Homebird Jewellery
- How Jewellery Making Has Helped My Chronic Illness & Mental Health
- Jewellery Making With Nature's Treasures
- Meet Illustrator & Polymer Clay Jeweller, Nyassa Hinde
- Jewellery Trade Secrets With Metalsmith Society
- Sea Glass Jewellery & Launching A Business With Love Kernow
- Meet The Jeweller Behind London Jewellery School & Jewellers Academy
- Meet Stephen Goldsmith, Author Of Polishing & Finishing For Jewellers
- Resin, Flower & Gemstone Jewellery With Ellanor Aquitaine
- Meet The Jeweller Behind Trinkets By Moonlight
- Meet The Self-Taught Jeweller Behind Olivia Street Silver
- Personalised Handmade Jewellery With Ruby & Wonder
- Meet The Cosmic Jeweller, Vikki Hall
- Meet The Eco-Friendly Jeweller, Jemima Hurlock
- Meet The Cornish Jeweller, Thomas Matthews
- Beachcombing & Jewellery Making With Cornish Agates
- Festival & Boho Jewellery With Tegen
- Mokume Gane & Vessel Pendants With Nicola Bottono
- Meet The Jeweller Behind View Of The Sea
- Artists Residency With Jeweller, Jonathan Videgrain
- Meet The Jeweller & Gemstone Addict Behind Made By Oonagh
- Pre-Loved, Vintage Jewellery With Ella Masters
- Baker's Dozen Exhibition With Sarah Shelton-Palmer
- Meet The Jeweller, Tansy Wilson
- Celestial, Boho & Witchy Jewellery With Amber Wheatley Designs
- Let's Talk Metal Clay With Lisa Cain
- Meet The Jeweller Behind When Caitie Met Soda
- Make It Challenge: Recycling The Same Piece Of Silver For 100 Days
- Bespoke Engagement Rings With Blackacre
- Meet The Jeweller Behind Claire Howard Jewellery
- Meet The Jeweller Behind Award Winner Andrew Berry
- Meet The Nature Inspired Jeweller Behind Lima-Lima
- Creating An Opal Ring & Pendant With Little Joy Jewellery
- Jewellery Inspired By Your Home With Claire Halligan
- Award Winner Monique On Techniques & Cornish Inspiration
- Meet The Jeweller Jonathan Videgrain
- Meet The Jeweller Louella Jewellery
- Meet The Jeweller Behind Bijoux De Chagall
- Alternative Wedding Jewellery With Bloody Mary Metal
- Jeweller Chloe Michell Talks Working With Metal Clay, Tools and Inspiration
- Setting Up Your Work Bench With Jeweller Victoria Walker
- An Interview With NAJ Shortlisted Designer of the Year Sheila Kerr