Get to know Libby Rak
Handcrafting all her jewels in England's Woodstock, this contemporary jeweller is a lover of exquisite gemstones
Tell us about your brand.
“We are a contemporary jewellers based in the busy Cotswold town Woodstock. We work in all precious metals, and both precious and semi-precious gemstones, working using traditional techniques. We offer a bespoke and remodelling service, which has become increasingly popular, especially with engagement and bridal jewellery. I specialise in remodelling jewellery.”
What inspires your designs?
“I am inspired by the stunning gemstones I source from various gemstone dealers. I meticulously go through bundles of stones and choose the ones I think are special. I enjoy framing the stones and showing them off to their full potential, occasionally adding some added sparkle with diamonds or interesting shapes. I am also fascinated by gemstones and the natural colours that come from the ground. I find it incredible, so the majority of my jewellery is based around gemstones.”
What made you want to become a jewellery designer?
“When I was 14, I started working for a local jeweller on Saturdays. She immersed me in the jewellery world and I fell in love with it. Halfway through studying my A levels, I realised how much I love making jewellery and decided to pursue a career as a jeweller instead of an engineer. I love the process you have to go through to get to the end piece. How this lump of metal can go from being a dark black and gold blob to something stunning and sparkly is amazing.”
How are your jewels are made?
“I was trained using traditional techniques by a German jeweller, Julia Beusch, which has influenced my work greatly. I work in precious metals and gemstones from my open workshop in the back of my gallery in Woodstock, and everything is made from sheet and wire from scratch, or from melted-down recycled jewellery. Everything is made by myself or my colleague Maisie, only outsourcing for stone setting.”
Tell us about your latest collection.
“I am continuously working on new pieces as and when I receive new stones. Currently, my two favourite ideas are my chunky gold and gemstone rings with added diamond detailing, and my pearl and gemstone chain necklaces. I have been focusing on how to take a simple ring or necklace and add a little something like pearls or diamonds to elevate the piece and make it more special and unique to the wearer.”
What are you working on now?
“This year, I have been working on an engagement ring collection as my engagement market has increased significantly in the last year. Though all of my engagement rings are bespoke and made to order, it is important for my customers to find new inspiration.”