Photo by Gesine Garz
Born in Northern Ireland, Carla Shanks graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2003, gaining experience at various English Luxury brands before completing a two-year MA at the Royal College of Art in 2008.
Awards for young female designer in 2006 and 2007, named ‘Bright Young Gem of 2008’ by Vogue’s Jewellery editor Carol Woolton and 'Rising Gem' in 2009 where she designed a charity piece in association with David Attenborough and the World Land Trust. This project, launched by Coutts London Jewellery Week, raised both awareness and money for the protection of elephant corridors and was the collection that introduced the new Fine Jewellery room at Liberty of London in 2009.
Throughout her career Carla has maintained strong working relationships with the finest craftspeople in Britain, with whom she engages to deliver the highest quality of design. Her primary collaboration is with multi-award-winning miniature sculptor Russell Lownsbrough who supports her with his expertise on all of her projects.
Carla had been resident in Paris for nearly four years when she took a step back from the Jewellery industry at the end of 2013 to live and serve at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. Carla has a clear and ethical understanding of bringing the highest aspect of oneself to our respective disciplines through loving, conscious and responsible action that will ultimately benefit others.
On returning to London at the end of 2014, Carla enjoyed designing under the directorship of Jade Jagger. Jade’s creative support and guidance steered Carla’s career back into the world of high Jewellery and was a stepping stone to becoming the Artistic director of a small ethical brand that brought her to Tanzania. Carla’s interest in the necessity of Fair Trade and ecologically friendly Gold mining had been cultivated through years of following the activism of Greg Valerio, after being inspired by his book, ‘Making Trouble’.
In 2016 Carla launched her own Fair Trade and Ethical Fine Jewellery Brand with the generous support of Greg Valerio.
For information on the activism of Greg Valerio and his book please go to https://gregvalerio.com
Russell is an award winning, independent miniature sculptor and goldsmith; he offers his expertise to some of the most luxurious Jewellery Houses in the world. His studio is thriving in the middle Hatton Garden, London’s jewellery quarter, where he has operated from for the length of his accomplished career. Russell is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths.
For professional wax carving services go to http://www.waxcarving.co.uk