Projects: Creating an Artisan Gold Ring with Canadian Maple and Epoxy
You may be surprised to learn that the UK is home to some of the finest gold around.
Mark discovered this as a child when his father, Edward, would take him panning for gold. It was here that Mark found his passion and would later go on to train as a Geologist and Goldsmith, Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Scientist and also charter with the Institute of Water and Environmental Management. To add to his list of achievements, he’s also an award-winning British team gold panner.
Mark’s business partner and wife Jacqueline discovered her love of gold panning while on a trip to pan the gold for the couple’s own wedding rings. After building the business together part-time since 2016, in 2019 they made the decision to devote every minute to Jacqueline & Edward.
Since then, the two of them have created a jewellery business with a difference. Working with recycled materials and alluvial river gold from across the UK, they create beautiful artisan engagement rings, wedding rings and jewellery, all with an ethical mindset.
“As an environmentalist, ensuring that all our jewellery is ethically made is something incredibly important to me,” explains Mark. Everything is handmade at Jacqueline & Edward using old-age techniques. Every step of the jewellery making process has been carefully considered; using a traditional gold pan and respecting the river’s natural surrounding environment, to the hours of hammering, rolling and polishing back at the workshop.
When Mark was approached by a customer in Brooklyn, New York, he knew he’d have to find something different to his typical process. The client wanted a ring made from pure Canadian and Welsh gold with an inlay of Canadian Maple. “Bonding the gold to the wood was a new challenge. I searched on community forums for the right product but everything recommended wasn’t fit for purpose.”
Mark was on the hunt for someone who knew their stuff. That’s when he came to Hamish Cook from PRO-SET® epoxy. Mark had worked with Hamish before on a previous project with stone inlay, but this time round he needed a material that was non-viscous and incredibly clear. “I worked with Hamish on this project and he found me the perfect product for the wood inlay. The epoxy soaks into the fabric of the wood and gives fantastic working properties that I can be confident are going to last.”
“Hamish really helped us throughout the entire process. He helped us identify the right product, came up with some interesting new ideas for us to try – just all-round excellent customer service.”
Mark was so thrilled with the results from this commission, that he plans to release a full wood inlay jewellery range for men in 2021. “We’re releasing the new product range later next year ant it will definitely be a cut above the quality of wood and gold related products that are available in the handmade community at the moment.”