The brains – and creative powerhouse — behind Adamas is our founder Neil Rayment.
Neil has been designing and manufacturing bespoke jewellery for over two decades and was one of the pioneers of integrating CAD technology and rapid prototyping into the process.
We caught up with Neil to find out more about what makes him tick, and where he finds creative inspiration.
Tell us about your journey into jewellery, Neil?
I started at an early age. Straight from school, I studied at Canterbury Art College, undertaking a short fine art course and immersing myself in as many disciplines as I could. From graduation, I went straight to Medway College of Art and Design to study silversmithing. This was a brilliant, practical HND course I studied over four intensive years, taught by the very best craftsman at the grassroots of the industry. It’s a real shame that these apprenticeship-style courses are not around anymore, as it’s where I learned my trade.
You do so much more than traditional jewellery now — tell us about that?
In the early years of my business, which I started at 23, my work was purely silversmithing. Around 80% of my business was work outsourced from London firms, and I worked on a real diversity of projects. I learned quickly and I was never afraid to roll my sleeves up and tackle a challenge. This was well before the digital revolution, so the large majority of our work was still traditionally made. I have always accepted any project no matter how ambitious or out of my comfort zone they might have been. A natural ability to find a solution to problems, and using my experience to experiment and improvise, was what I took pride in. It’s what drove me, I guess. It's this early experience that allows us to continue to stand out in the market. The diversity of our projects continues to fuel this innovation today.
What do you enjoy the most about working in this trade?
I am naturally curious and creative with a large splash of perfectionism thrown in. I am driven by a desire to see projects brought to life while adhering to the highest possible standard of craftsmanship.
With more complex projects, I know there's probably a stumbling block up ahead somewhere but the buzz of creatively overcoming those challenges and producing the very best outcome for the clients is where the enjoyment lies, for me.
Which sort of projects do you enjoy the most?
It’s a cliché, but the challenging ones are what I thrive on. Our work for Saker Arts is a great example of how years of experience converged at the right time to produce some truly gorgeous pieces.
What do you consider the biggest achievements in your career to date?
Running a successful business, employing staff and passing on my passion and knowledge are the things I’m most proud of.
Where do you think the jewellery trade is headed in terms of new technology?
Well, I didn't think it would get as far as it has now so quickly. It’s safe to say that automated manufacturing is here to stay and this is a big business now. I can see new materials and home prototyping being available in the next decade. I do worry about it tipping over into a throwaway culture, as these materials won't carry that intrinsic value that the heavy metals do. I believe that legislation should be an important part of this future technological development.
Finally, who or what inspires you?
The adventure inspires me.