Interview with Jack Row
Jack Row's exquisite luxury writing instruments are prized by those who recognise and celebrate the best of British Craftsmanship. Read more about how and why a Fountain Pen influenced his future in this interview with me at The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company.
Why did you decide to make writing instruments the main emphasis of your work?
This important choice was made during my BA study Design for Industry at 'Birmingham School of Jewellery which followed on from my experiences of my traditional bench skills apprenticeship and working as a CAD designer where I was mainly exposed to the design of fine jewellery.I had the realisation that although I enjoyed working with my hands and digitally, jewellery just didn’t resonate with me because I don’t wear it and therefore don’t have the emotional attachment needed to create it. I realised that there is a lot more to jewellery than just objects that can be worn or that adorn the body. Luxury lifestyle goods struck a chord with me, these are items which as well as being precious in nature also perform a function.
Pens or ‘writing instruments’ really resonated with me which led to my decision to create a palladium and black diamond pen for my pre-graduation final project which was seen by 'Harrods', who loved my concept and asked me to design and create a collection exclusively for them. This became the Architect Collection, which was launched in Harrods Knightsbridge store in 2011. My niche and the main emphasis for my future work was set in place from then on.
What is your proudest achievement in your career to-date?
A tough one to answer but I’d have to say creating and presenting ‘his and hers’ matching silver fountain pens to HRH the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
What is your design inspiration?
My design inspiration unusually comes from Architecture, engineering and experimentation with craft processes. I’m particularly fond of medieval gothic and Islamic architecture motifs and their shared underpinning in geometry and mathematics.
Any famous owners of your work?
Many of my clients are professionals, who are prominent in their particular fields but not famous in wider public sense. In terms of the highest profile though, it would probably be Prince Charles.
What is you favourite piece that you have made?
My favourite piece made to date is, a gothic architecture inspired fountain pen entitled ‘Quatrefoil’. This was made in silver and rose-gold and has a diamond set in the clip. It also features a specially cut chequerboard sapphire, bezel set in the crown of the cap. I was inspired to make this pen following a holiday to Bruges and being particularly influenced by the amazing stone tracery. This piece was also featured as part of editorial article in 'The Financial Times', ‘How to Spend It’ magazine and received some great publicity.
Teaching is obviously a very important part of your practise, do you have any one piece of advice to offer Graduate Jewellers?
The best piece of advice I can give is that after graduating, try to gain employment and get as much experience and on-the-job learning as you can. If you eventually want to set out on your own, cutting your teeth in the trade first will give you a massive advantage and can literally be the difference between success and failure.
Where is your work available to buy?
My work is available to buy from my website: www.jackrow.com and a range of stockists, which are also listed there.
Interview with Jack Row, award winning British Artisan and Goldsmith who specialises in design & creation of the use of luxury writing instruments, fine Jewellery and objets d'art.
- My thanks to Jack Row for sharing his fascinating story, for being a tutor here at The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company and for supporting the work we do -
Dawn Meaden-Johnson / Blog Author & Founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company.