Focus on London Craft Week: Deakin & Francis
Photographs Thom Atkinson
Words Mark Hooper
The oldest jewellers in England have never veered from the high standards of craftsmanship that are its tradition – but always embrace innovative design…
Having designed, produced and manufactured cufflinks and accessories since 1786, Deakin & Francis can rightfully claim to be England’s oldest family jeweller. Using only the finest quality materials – including precious metal, vitreous enamel and gemstones – they complement their deep knowledge and skill with a commitment to innovative design.
From their flagship store on Piccadilly arcade in St James’s, they specialise in a mixture of the classic and the playful in their designs; trading off the unique dash of personality that cufflinks and other accessories can add to an otherwise formal outfit.
‘As masters in the art of design, the company employ tools, traditions and techniques, passed from one generation to the next,’ says Henry Deakin. Different stages of the making process require different specialist craftspeople and jewellers – and for London Craft Week 2018, they will provide insight into just one of the rare skills they are master at: vitreous enamelling.
Dating back to the age of the Pharaohs, it is a process that has remained relatively unchanged in over 2,000 years – and from 9-11 May, there will be an opportunity not only to see the masters of the craft at work during live demonstrations (10am-4.30pm each day, no booking necessary) – but also to take part in a workshop, learning how to hand enamel a pair of your own cufflinks to take home (same hours, see here for more details or email firstname.lastname@example.org).