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From Oban to Vogue, Benderloch’s Ellis Cameron could be the UK’s next young jewellery designer of the year.
The 27-year-old, who runs her fine jewellery business from a studio at London’s Goldsmith Centre, is one of eight designers aged under 30 who have been shortlisted for the glittering title.
Ellis, a former Oban High School pupil and graduate with distinction from Glasgow School of Art, will go for gold in May when she presents her work to an expert panel before the ultimate winner is decided in time for the Retail Jeweller UK Jewellery Awards in July.
Ellis moved to London to complete a Masters in Jewellery Design at Central St Martins, graduating with another distinction. In 2017, she was accepted onto a Setting Out scheme run by training charity The Goldsmith Centre, which gives start-up help to just a handful of goldsmiths and creative businesses a year. In 2018, she was one of five finalists shortlisted for Professional Jewellers’ Young Designer of The Year.
Back in Benderloch, proud mum and dad Joy and Campbell Cameron are behind her all the way.
‘I bounce ideas of them all the time. Mum’s into conceptual thinking and dad is more technical. He used to be a mechanic so understands things like soldering. It’s nice to have that solid support in two different elements. They’ve only got me to applaud otherwise it would just be the cat, which they do anyway.’
The sea at Tralee, Castle Stalker at Appin, wild nature, rugged landscapes and jewellery hoards found across Scotland are just some of what inspires her work.
‘I love coming home to gather more photos and imagery for my work but my folks are very good at sending me things.
‘I try to get back at Christmas and summer. I’m planning a visit in mid-June but not to do anything, just relax. I kind of wish I was there all the time but I love being in London too,’ said Ellis, whose work has also been featured in publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and most recently has started selling on Farfetch – a luxury fashion website selling products from more than 700 boutiques and brands from around the world.
Ellis has also just been part of a showcase called The Maiyet Collective at Harvey Nichols and has worked on projects with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH) and high-end French jewellery design studio Chaumet.
‘Right now I’m working on a large commission of 18 carat gold pieces. A lady who purchased an engagement ring from me has now commissioned matching earrings and a bangle for her wedding, as well as both of their wedding bands.
‘They are actually getting married at The Goldsmiths Centre, as it has happy memories for them as this is where they found the engagement ring that I created for them. They’ve even invited me to the wedding! It’s things like that that really make me smile,’ she said.