The Artisan & The Fountain Pen
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
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.
About Jack Row
Jack is an award winning British Artisan and Goldsmith who specialises in design & creation of the use of luxury writing instruments, fine Jewellery and objets d'art.
Why did you decide to make writing instruments the main emphasis of your work?
This important choice was influenced by my experience of a traditional bench skills apprenticeship and working as a CAD designer. During this time I was mainly exposed to the design of fine jewellery and 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 that motivates to create it.
During my BA Design for Industry study at 'BCU School of Jewellery Birmingham' I realised that there is a lot more to jewellery than just objects that can be worn or that adorn the body. Luxury lif
estyle goods struck a chord with me, being precious in nature and also performing a function. Pens or ‘writing instruments’ really resonated with me and led to my decision to create a palladium and black diamond pen for my final degree project. This was seen by ‘Harrods’, who loved my concept and who asked me to create a collection exclusively for them - The Architect collection was then launched in 'Harrods' Knightsbridge store in 2011.
From then on my love of designing and creating writing instruments was established and they became the main emphasis for my work.
What is your proudest achievement in your career to-date?
Difficult 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 usually comes from;
- 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 the most favourite piece that you have designed and made?
My favourite piece made to date is, a gothic architecture inspired luxury 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.
As teaching is obviously a very important part of y
our 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.
One-to-one CAD Design tuition is available from Jack Row via The Bespoke Jewellery Training Co
View courses series here https://www.bespokejewellerytraining.co.uk/cad-design-course-series
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.
You can read more about Jack Row here
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.
About the author
Dawn Meaden-Johnson is the Director and Founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company, she has 25 years’ experience working in the Jewellery Industry including at Signet Retail Jewellers and almost 10 Years at Birmingham City University School of Jewellery during which time she has worked extensively with national and international clients whilst managing their Short Course Programme.
A graduate Silversmith of Birmingham School of Jewellery BCU, Dawn still occasionally creates limited edition contemporary jewellery under the brand Dawnstorm, specialising in the use of anodised aluminium in jewellery.