A father and son team who are keeping alive the traditional art of goldsmithing have moved to new premises to cope with increased demand.
Glenn and Paul Chapman's customers are currently waiting six to eight months to take delivery of their stunning bespoke jewellery, beautifully crafted by hand from gold, silver and platinum at their workshop in Cranfield.The Goldsmithy, which has moved after eight successful years in Stony Stratford, is a true family affair, with Glenn's wife Sharon completing the team as the administrator.The new workshop – packed full of intriguing tools of the trade – was officially opened by the mayor of Milton Keynes, Sam Crooks, last week.Glenn's career began back in 1972 when he became the last 'small worker' apprentice at the world-famous Cartier in London.His claim to fame was making a necklace for Lauren Bacall – the sultry Hollywood movie star - although he never got to meet her.“We were kept downstairs in the workshops so we never really knew who the customer would be,” he said.Since opening in 2008, The Goldsmithy has handcrafted more than 600 bespoke commissions, including pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, pens, custom watch cases and cufflinks. “As part of every commission, clients are invited into the workshop to see the piece being created, enabling any changes to be made before the final polishing,” said Glenn, 62.“We offer the rare opportunity for anyone commissioning a piece to have a go at the bench and add their own personal mark-making. It's an extra special experience.”Son Paul, 34, who is learning all his father's hard won tricks of the trade, gave a fascinating live jewellery-making demonstration as visitors enjoyed a glass of bubbly during a two-day celebration of the opening. He melted down precious metal with his blowtorch then invited guests to try out some of the metal shaping machinery.He offered a tempting proposition to people who are tempted to sell their old jewellery to dealers for barely scrap value.“It is a shame if you have something that is sat in a drawer,” he said. “Bring it in and we can melt it down and make something everyone can enjoy.“We are continuing the tradition of making jewellery properly – pieces that stand the test of time.”Glenn added: “A big misconception is that bespoke jewellery will cost more than a high street jeweller, but this isn’t the case.“If a customer has a budget in mind, we can work to this and create a beautiful, unique piece. We are also passionate about the recycling of old jewellery and can melt down metal brought in to use in their new jewellery. “This not only helps keeps the cost down, but means clients hold on to the sentimental value that an off-the-shelf product doesn’t have.”The mayor was clearly impressed.“It’s wonderful to see this family run business keeping this traditional craft alive,” he said, “and I wish them every success in their new workshop.”Book a free consultation with The Goldsmithy on 01908 565200 or visit www.thegoldsmithy.com to see their full range of services.