"Us" is mostly me, Damian Miles. Jeweller, goldsmith, silversmith, gemmologist, numismatist, and pearl stringer. I create one of a kind and limited run pieces of jewellery, silverware and luxury objects. I also offer a jewellery repair and re-stringing service to the trade and public.
I love the variety that my work enables me to have. One day I could be making an engagement ring to a customers design, the next jewellery repairs and re-stringing and then making a custom knife sheath. It's simply great!
My inspirations are drawn from many avenues, from nature to mythology, science fiction to everyday objects. I have a fascination with symbols and symbology, which is sometimes evident in my work. Being based in Okehampton, I am lucky enough to have Dartmoor on my doorstep, a great place to take a moment and beautiful whatever the weather. I design and make pieces that I like, and these vary greatly in style and function.
I try to buy ethically and use recycled or environmentally friendly products when possible. Many pieces I make incorporate reclaimed gemstones (see the rings opposite) and enjoy giving them a new life.
The rest of "us" is my family. A great source of inspiration and support, especially my wife, Kassandra, who keeps me in check when I need to be. Our two children keep me on my toes and my daughter has even designed a few pieces (and my wife to be fair). Even my son sorts through gemstones with me.
I started in the jewellery trade full time in 1992 with Gerry and Co. of Newton Abbot, Devon, but I was making and repairing jewellery before then. Whilst there I learnt about many aspects of jewellery, watches, clocks and silverware. I also gained my Retail Jewellers Diploma from the National Association of Goldsmiths'.
In 1995 it was time to move on. I then joined Brufords of Exeter, the county jewellers, working with Jo and Jeremy Astley Sparke. I worked my way up to the management of the shop and gained more knowledge and qualifications. Sadly in 2014 the shop closed after over 125 years trading. From here I launched in to self employment and haven't looked back since.
I decided to set on a path of continued professional development in 2005 and have taken various industry specific courses and gained qualifications in jewellery, gemmology, diamond grading and appraisal theory. To this day, I still make a point learning when ever I can.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little about me.
Damian J. Miles
GG (GIA), AJP (GIA), R.J. Dip. FNAJ, CPAA Specialist
P.S. Yes, that's me on the right, setting up at Okehampton Show.