Clarice Price Thomas | Jeweller
I cycle everyday that I can and I find it helps me get into the right mindset for the day ahead, I love it.
Known for her unique and contemporary designs, technical ability and attention to detail, Clarice Price Thomas is an award winning jewellery designer working from her East London studio.
Growing up as the daughter of a watch and clock maker, Clarice designs jewellery which combines her interests in machinery, movements, mechanisms and antiques, with an innovative and unique design philosophy. We visited Clarice in her studio to see how her jewellery is created.
MX: I understand you don’t have formal training in jewellery design, do you think this has given you a unique approach to jewellery making?
CPT: I definitely think it is a unique approach yes, mainly because I don’t feel like I have to conform to a certain way of designing or certain process, nor do I feel like I have to have too many reasons for things. I just make whatever comes into my head and enjoy the freedom of designing and creating what I like. I also think my way of creating jewellery and the machines and techniques I use are quite unconventional.
MX: Your designs marry delicate and intricately crafted pieces with a hint of masculinity in their subject matter – how do you find the perfect balance between machinery and beauty?
CPT: I think the processes and techniques that I use to create the work comes from the typically masculine world of engineering. I use certain machines to create the work but they’re always well thought through in their shape, design, size and details which is where that beauty comes into play. I think the machines I use are incredibly beautiful even though they’re big, heavy, sturdy pieces of equipment so I think I try to take that intricacy within the movements and mechanisms of the machines and put it into beautiful pieces of jewellery.
MX: Can you describe some of the processes and machinery used to create such intricate pieces?
CPT: I grew up as the daughter of a watch and clock maker which really informed my designs and the way in which I create my pieces. I use beautiful old milling machines and lathes to create the mathematically precise and intricate shapes featured in my collections. I love the way these machines can be used to create such accurate work and yet they are still used by hand. There is a huge range of different techniques and processes that can be used on the machines to create different shapes and thats something I’ve only just begin exploring.
MX: As a young designer do you have a mentor or role model/s who has helped you during the process of starting out on your own?
CPT: Just before I set up my business and when I just had a few initial pieces for my first collection, I won a graduate competition (even though I wasn’t actually a graduate…) with a wonderful jewellers called EC One on Exmouth Market. Part of the prize was a mentoring programme with Jos and Ali who own the store. Along with their help and advice I was able to successfully develop and launch my debut collection and begin selling it across the UK. Their mentorship definitely helped me hugely.
In terms of a role model, I would always say that I looked up to fellow jeweller and one of my best friend’s, Jessica de Lotz. She creates beautiful and romantic work and she has held on and kept so true to her design style which is what I continually try to do.
MX: Tell us about your cycle commute to work, how often you do it, how far it is, and why you enjoy it.
CPT: I live in Leytonstone and my studio is in Hackney Wick so I have quite a short commute of only 2.5 miles each way. But it really is a lovely one! I’m lucky that my studio borders right onto the Olympic park; the view out of my window is almost entirely taken up by the Olympic Stadium, the London Aquatic Centre and the Anish Kapoor sculpture. This means every day I get to go through the park and over this lovely bridge over the river, it’s really beautiful and there’s so much open space. I don’t really like cycling on the roads too much so tend to whizz through that bit so I can enjoy the small stretch in the park. I cycle everyday that I can and I find it helps me get into the right mindset for the day ahead, I love it.
MX: How do you integrate cyclestyle into your everyday wardrobe and what key pieces do you find work best for cycling?
CPT: I don’t think I particularly integrate cycling into my wardrobe but I do obviously think about what’s appropriate to wear on the bike and what’s not. I’d never wear anything that I am really precious about because you never know when a rogue puddle might appear and I like to be comfortable too. You’ll usually find me wearing jeans and a t-shirt to be honest with a good pair of trainers. I also have my rain jacket too which I find is essential for when it starts to drizzle! I tend to not like wearing skirts when I cycle because I’m constantly worried that my knickers might be flashing at someone!
MX: What is your favourite bag from the Michaux range and why? Tell us a bit about how you use it, where you go with it and what you carry in it?
CPT: My favourite Michaux bag is my little Shadow Saddle Bag which I absolutely adore and use almost everyday! I find it works for whatever occasion I want and works like a dream attached to my saddle on my bike. Mostly I wear it as a little rucksack because I love how it looks and is so great being handsfree! But when I’m out on a night out, I take one of the straps off and rejig it into a shoulder bag so I can keep my eye on it. I hate to carry around heaps of stuff all the time which is why I love the Shadow bag as it’s so small and perfectly fits my phone, purse, oyster card, keys and lippy in. It’s perfect!
You can visit www.claricepricethomas.com to see her latest collection.
Photography of our MICHAUX WOMAN series by Rosie Holtom www.rosieholtom.tv