Friday, 19 November 2010

A sparkling new co-op on the High Street

It was about this time last year that the sight of a boarded-up shopfront on the High Street got me dreaming of how a creative craftsman or woman might set up a studio and start a trend for shops in Budleigh Salterton where people could see products being made.

An exotic chocolatier might set up his or her business, I suggested, at having learnt about such a development in Budleigh's sister-town of Brewster, Massachusetts.

So it was good to meet an enthusiastic and artistic new arrival who has set up shop on Budleigh's High Street, combining a gallery of intriguing bespoke jewellery with a workshop where he can be seen creating the items.

Jason Jones, pictured above, is one of four members of what he describes as "a jewellery cooperative" which has up to now been based at Otterton Mill where designer Steve Whitford set up his handcrafted jewellery business.

Now the venture has expanded, launching Whitford Jones as a new name on the High Street last Saturday 13 November. Jewellers Ann Bruford and Zsuzsi Morrison are the other members of the quartet. Each has his or her own particular style of workmanship.

South Africa-born Jason, 39, started off as a graphic designer before moving into jewellery design 15 years ago, learning his new skills in what he calls "the school of hard knocks" rather than following a formal college course. Clearly he has no regrets about his change of direction. "Graphic design is flat," he told me. "This is exciting 3D work full of movement and dynamic challenge."

As well as undertaking bespoke commissions, Jason specialises in repairing and recycling damaged items of jewellery, enjoying the process of discussing with clients how new pieces could be created by adapting existing materials.

Jason Richard Jones, jeweller, can be contacted at Whitford Jones, 4 High Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6LQ Mobile: 07980234857
To contact Steve Whitford at Otterton Mill click on

No comments:

Post a Comment