Central to NVW’s practice is her support of authentic craftsmanship. And so, to create her debut collection, Natasha Wightman has gone on a journey of deep discovery with some of the UK’s most skilled applied artists. Together, they have rediscovered storied techniques to imagine and create contemporary works. The artist’s practice has moved the boundaries of high art jewellery by re-invigorating crafts that go back centuries. It is this unchartered territory, where true innovation is unearthed.

Carving has been an integral skill for much of the collection. The master carver has taken ancient raw materials and transformed them into the most elegant, one-of-a-kind forms. 

Once the drawing, and then the maquette, have been finalised to create the movement and shape of each sculpture, the disciplined and intensive work of hand carving each raven begins. The many bespoke tools employed to work NVW’s chosen natural materials of jet and boxwood, include the tip of a micro drill under a magnifying lamp for the intricately detailed work on the finest feathers. At this stage in the process, a mere half millimeter slip is disastrous, so the master carver hand finishes the finer abrasive tips of the drill heads for the very detailed work. This is to ensure that the tip is precisely suited to the microscopic detail of each raven.

The exquisitely carved designs in moorland boxwood are blackened and finished to a deep lustre. It is this level of detail and contrast in the carvings that underpins their uniqueness and visual brilliance.

The art of goldsmithing completes the NVW process. The craft has been prized since antiquity but few possess the talent to handmake jewellery to virtuoso standards. Wightman works with sought-after artisans who bring her vision to life at their bench, using the most precious metals and gemstones. NVW’s signature handmade chains and clasps are bespoke, as are all the settings and framings, all quietly fashioned to attain a perfect balance of elements.

Discover the collection.

View the Works