I first came across Ellie Air on Broadway Market so was delighted to find the startlingly beautiful designs in online jewellery boutique The Pommier. Shortlisted for New Jewellery Designer of the Year at this year’s UK Jewellery Awards, Ellie Air’s founder, creative director and maker Lauren Rowden, let me delve behind the scenes…
THE FIRST PIECE
A student of Florence’s international jewellery school Alchimia, Lauren’s very first Ellie Air piece was a Russian bangle from the Alchimia collection, made in black rhodium on silver, inspired by a love of Russian wedding rings. “My parents had a bench in their eaves, so I hid up there and made pieces. The Russian bangle defined the collection – bold but finessed,” Lauren told me.
Passionate about gemstones, Lauren was keen to start working with them. The star necklace was her first gemstone piece in rose gold with grey diamonds. The signet ring was inspired by an eBay find (see below!), an old piece that was engraved with Lauren’s initials, and this inspired the Firma collection.
The most popular piece is the signet ring, which Lauren laughs that she has made so many of – next, she plans to make it in yellow gold with opal.
Lauren told me: “Ellie Air comes from my initials – LER – as my Dad always called me ‘LE’ when I was little, and air is probably the closest I could get to R, and it rolls off the tongue quite nicely!”
Obsessed with the galaxy’s stars and moons – see the posters (pictured below) framed around Lauren’s home; and the day we meet Lauren is off to a talk by astronauts that evening! – Lauren’s next collection is called Ellisse (Italian for eclipse) and focusses on circles, stars, sapphires and opals. Lauren also has a charity collection planned for next year, which I will be able to tell you more about soon!