her jewellery, designer Jessie Harris emphasises the
simplistic beauty of minimalism. Before founding her eponymous
brand in 2012, Harris attended Chelsea College of Art and Design
and graduated in 2010 with a major in Fine Arts. While at
university, she focused her attention on creating sound
It wasn’t until leaving the classroom behind that she found her
calling in jewellery design, but her time at school was certainly
not a waste. Harris’ background in audio design brings a
recognisable aesthetic to her collections, with the curved metals,
sharp lines and tiny balls seeming to carry the same fluidity and
rhythmic qualities as sound. During the transition from working
digitally to physically, Harris pushed her creativity and defined
her brand’s style. Five years later, she’s crafted several unique
collections and participated in two successful collaborations, one
with clothing designer Marina London and the other with accessories
designer Danielle Foster. From the comforts of her
East London studio, the designer shares with us her design
ethos, favourite local hangouts and love for London.
Type of brand:
Lighthearted, sculptural jewellery.
Where can we find your designs?
Who is the ideal Jessie Harris customer?
Someone who likes their design minimal but fun.
How did you go from focusing on audio instalments to making
As much as I loved the work I was doing at Chelsea Art College,
it would have been a tough path to take to make a living. I was
also predominantly computer based and was desperate to create
Jewellery has always been an interest of mine and I had a clear
idea of the style and type of pieces that I liked but I was unable
to find them anywhere. Eventually, I decided to try and make them
for myself. After a couple of short courses and a lot of
experimentation, the business came from quite a personal place and
then seemed to grow organically as more people became
How does your background in sound influence your designs?
When I was at art school, my work had a strong conceptual focus
which I’ve incorporated into my jewellery practice. I love taking
seemingly disconnected references and making the jewellery become
the thread between them. My latest collection, for example, was
based on traditional Japanese Obi belts combined with
retro-futuristic shapes and forms and took references from early
Star Trek episodes!
Since you’ve had significant experience in both, can you
explain the different creative processes of working digitally
Working physically definitely presents larger obstacles to
overcome creatively which is what makes it so interesting for me.
Though my role now is very physical I wouldn’t say practicality is
a defining trait of mine! I like the challenges of my work and
would say as a self-taught jeweller, my technical limitations
probably had a strong initial influence on defining my style.
Where do you get the materials for your jewellery?
Pretty much everything is sourced from Hatton Garden in London,
whether it’s silver wire and sheet, earring posts or diamonds. I
love that it is one of the few remaining areas in the city which is
used predominantly for one industry. I’m there at least twice a
week running from supplier to supplier and popping in for a chat
with my setter or CAD designer.
What tools do you create with?
A jeweller’s best friend is always their saw and their soldering
torch, one for chopping things up and one for putting them
Can you explain the significance of imperfection in your
Unless you are working on a super intricate engagement ring
which requires micro-precision to get every element perfect, I like
to see the a human hand behind a piece. This can probably be seen
mostly in my chunkier, wax carved rings that are based on simple
shapes. These could be easily machine made but thanks to their
handmade nature they will never be 100% precise – I find this
How do you communicate the ethos of your brand through your
I’m so lucky to have worked on the brand imagery with one of my
best friends Agnes Lloyd Platt, an incredibly talented
photographer, from the beginning. We like to echo the fun and
playful nature of the designs with the campaign images; embracing
colour, working with unconventionally beautiful models and
unexpected visual arrangements. We also enjoy mixing still life
with editorial shots – something we are looking to explore more
with the next collection.
How would you describe the creative energy in London?
I love the boldness, vibrancy and pioneering nature of
Londoners. I know so many talented people who are dynamic,
entrepreneurial thinkers as well as creatives and this is why we
have some of the most progressive and exciting shops, spaces and
companies popping up all over the city.
What makes London different from other places in the world that
As a born-and-bred Londoner, I may be a little biased in saying
that it’s my favourite city. I’ve lived North, South and West but
have now settled East. I love that each corner of London is like a
mini city in itself. Each area very much has its own tone and
Tell us about three of your favourite spots near your
We are lucky to have the fantastic new pizza restaurant/cocktail
bar/art space LOVENpresents inside our building, conveniently
located just down the corridor from the studio. Clapton is pretty
nearby and I would recommend My
Neighbours the Dumplings to anyone who loves modern dim sum,
while Yield N16
in Stoke Newington is a great deli/off license/casual bar.
How often do you release a new collection?
I work towards one main collection a year that I release at the
end of each summer and then one smaller collection that offers
something a little different. At the moment I’m working on an
exciting collaborative project, a men’s collection and a fine
How do you channel your inspiration and create something new
At the end of each collection I always worry that after all the
energy I’ve put into designing it, there will be none left for the
next one. The reason I like designing one main collection a year
though is that there is time to breathe between each one and time
for the ideas and inspiration for the next collection to sink in
organically. There always seems to be a visual reference from one
collection that feeds into the next – normally an idea that I feel
I can explore further. This is combined with fresh sources and
references which push the collection in a new direction to allow
original ideas and designs to be formed.
What is the role of slow fashion in today’s industry?
Longevity in design and fashion is really important to me – I
would say that it is the nature of jewellery to not be a part of
throwaway fashion. In addition to the value of raw materials,
customers value the time put into creating pieces.