Camille was designed for the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends - Narisa Cherdjareewatananun. Nee and I were roommates for five years at senior school so we basically grew up together and she is also as close to having a sister as I’ll ever get. We sung in choir together, played in orchestra together, caused trouble in all but the most terrifying of teachers’ lessons and laughed until we cried often…oh and we shared our theories and thoughts on the Harry Potter books as we pretty much grew up in parallel with the story, you get the picture, she is a big part of my story. Narisa also happens to be super intelligent, a crazily talented artist, musician and interior designer (and as if that wasn’t enough she’s also beautiful).

So no pressure to design something good then….! My task was made a little more difficult by the fact she lives in Singapore at the moment but thanks to the wonders of WhatsApp and Skype we hatched a plan for me to design her a pair of earrings for her wedding reception (she had a traditional Buddhist ceremony which meant traditional dress and jewellery) that would be the wedding present from all her school friends.


I got the luxury of writing my own brief for this project and I decided I wanted to create a peice that represented Narisa and her husband to be - Akira - as a couple so set about infusing the design with as many elements of their heritage and interests as possible.



I didn’t need to ask her my usual first question [what is your / the intented recipicients favourite flower?] as I already knew that Narisa loves Camellias as she had always had a photo of the huge bright pink Camellia plant that grows outside her family home in Chaing Mai (Thailand) on her bedside table at school to remind her of home. This also provided a rather convenient link to school, as all of the school friends attending her wedding used to sing in the school choirs together - whose rehersals all took place in the Camellia house, a beautiful victorian glass house designed and built to grow these beautiful flowers.

I wanted to include a pearl in the design because of their long association with wedding jewellery. When I looked in detail at Camellias I realised that the central petals look very much like a pearl and all the petals fan out from them. So the pearl became the centre of my design. Narisa and I share a love of art deco styles as well as scottish heritage which gave me the perfect excuse to fuse together these two elements. The petal pattern I designed that radiates out from the pearl is actually quite simple but it repeats in an interwoven manner that is simultaneously art deco (same pattern repeating but growing larger) and celtic (the interwoven aspect). The pattern is also a reference to art deco wall hangings and decorations and Narisa’s own interior design work.

The shape of the camellia leaf is influenced by the beautiful paintings that adorn buddist temples as well as the amazing architecture of their roofs. Akira is an arcitect so this was another reason I wanted to incorperate elements of the temple roofs.

Narisa’s heritage is Thai, Chinese and Scottish, while Akira’s in Japanese and Colombian. I had ticked off Thai, Scottish and Japanese (a Camellia’s latin name is ‘Camellia Japonica’) by this point. Which left me with Chinese and Colombian - so I sourced the pearl from a family run pearl farm in China and the gold from Colombia to complete the set.

I kept the design a secret from Narisa - at her request but showed all our friends before Jo starting making them. Everyone gave them the green light and I’m happy to say they all were very happy with the end result, espeically Narisa.

It was a real honour to see such a dear friend wearing a piece of jewellery I designed on such a special occasion. She sends me messages every now and again to say ‘I had someone else admiring my earrings today…’ which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and I design jewellery to make people feel special and remember the moments and emotions attached to the pieces.

Samantha RoseComment