An interview with Duffy, a quintessential modern craftsman
is a perfect merging of traditional and contemporary design. Having collected multiple years of experience working with antiques and finely tuning his hand at silver and gold smithing, Duffy has developed a unique vision that reinterprets mastered techniques into his own stunning jewellery line. Duffy is part of the national panel for the Ketel One Legacy in the UK.
Wallpaper*: How did you start making jewellery?
My father initially suggested the idea to me when I was 14, an idea I shrugged off with the comment, ’only girls make jewellery’. How wrong I was and the seed had been planted. I worked for an antiques dealer at the weekends and was always around quality jewellery along with my mother’s love for it.
When I was 16 I did a work experience at Jeremy Hoyes in Brighton which just solidified my passion. I embarked on a two-year art foundation course specialising in 3D design then a three-year degree in jewellery/silversmithing and goldsmithing at what was then the Kent Institute of Art and Design. After graduating I became a self-employed jewellery maker taking on any work I could, and so it began.
What does craftsmanship mean to you?
It is a pure form of creating. Taking an idea and material, whether it be metal, leather or wood for example, and using one’s hands and honed skill to take that concept into reality. In the modern world we live, where technology, mass production and cheaper products has lead to a ’throw away’ society, it seems increasingly important to champion the craftsmen that put love and time into their work that will last a lifetime.
What inspires your creative process?
Pretty much everything inspires me. It all gets absorbed day to day and somehow is filtered, processed and spills back out into my work. It always seems to be either trial and error or pure accident that allows me to find new materials and techniques.
Who do you admire most for their mastery in skill and craft?
Living; my friend Robert Mcnally, dead; Gian Lorenzo Bernini