American jewelry designer Brooke Gregson’s delicate creations incorporate a range of precious stones, fine metals and astrological influences. A textile and jewelry designer, we catch up with Gregson in Dubai at Comptoir 102 to learn more about her earthy designs and her penchant for juxtaposing various materials within her creations.
What made you decide to become a jewelry designer?
It was never a conscious decision to become a jewelry designer. I grew up with a father who collected jewelry and a mother who was fascinated by stones and their healing properties . It was not until I took a break from my position as a textile designer that I started taking jewelry courses and then making my own pieces for friends.
From where do you get your creative inspiration?
As a former textile designer and art history buff, these interests will always find a way to influence my work alongside my own drawings, photographs and water colors. I am also influenced by what I see happening each day in London as well as my various travels around the world. One of the most exciting aspects of my work is the search for the perfect stone. My research often leads me to become inspired to create an entire collection or piece that will be created to bring out its own unique soul and beauty.
What are your thoughts on the jewelry market in Dubai?
I think the jewelry market in Dubai is very exciting. There’s such an influx of different cultures and the city has developed from one offering mainly Arabic jewelry to one that now attracts brands from all over the world. Although the Dubai jewelery market now seems to be more brand oriented, there are new stores that are attracting the growing trend for more personal and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces such as boutiques like Comptoir 102.
You have a great interest in astrology. How is this incorporated into your designs?
I have always been fascinated by our connections to the stars and planets. Greek Astrology, in particular as well as Steven Hawking’s A History in Time have been pivotal influences on my work. The pivotal event that sparked my Astrology collection was actually an old battered Indian coin that I found by chance. Its worn texture immediately reminded me of the cratered surface of the moon. Then shortly after, in the middle of the night, I had a eureka moment where I felt I could combine this interesting texture with white diamonds to mimic the stars of each constellation onto a textured surface like the coin. My passion for astrology has always influenced my designs so much so that many people see my jewelry as having a “planetary” quality.
From where do you source your materials?
The main metal I work with is 18-carat gold. It is easy to work with and comes in precious metal in rose, yellow and white tones. I also use gold sources who rely on refining from recycled gold. In addition, I often incorporate unique stones such as diamond slices, boulder opals and sapphires into my creations. I have been sourcing stones for over 12 years and have created strong relationships with gem sources, most whom are members of the American Gem Trade Association. Members of the AGTA have the highest code of ethics and standards, which is very important to me. I have great respect for these stones and make sure I work with gem sources who have the same reverence as I do for materials that are often thousands of years old.
Brooke Gregson is available at Comptoir 102, 102 Beach Road, Jumeirah 1. Tel: +971 43854555