Who is Aquila Jewellery?
Aquila Jewellery is an independent jewellery brand located in the colourful lanes of Brighton, UK. It’s a small business that started from a love of unique handmade jewellery, which our founder Stacey collected whenever she travelled.
She particularly liked mixed metal, gold and silver jewellery. She adored looking at local markets, watching the artisans use skills passed through generation to produce beautiful intricate designs, with what appeared to be such ease. Admiring their use of handheld tools with such incredible precision, ease and pace, she soon came to appreciate the methods used as much as the finished products.
It was when she travelled to a dusty village in Indonesia, that she happened to stumble across a group of silversmiths and their families working together to produce jewellery for a local market, and a lasting impression was made.
The artisans made many of their pieces using a traditional handmade jewellery technique called “Jawan” where tiny beads of silver were placed on base metal to create intricate often symmetrical designs. Stacey knew “Jawan” jewellery was the essence from which she wanted her jewellery dream to grow.
She felt this was her opportunity to blend her passion for travel and jewellery into one – and take a chance on starting a business.
And so, after designing some pieces together with the Indonesian artisans, sampling and production began. She also visited and enlisted some skilled goldsmiths in India too and placed her unique handmade jewellery pieces online in a small Etsy shop.
Two years later, that small online shop expanded to become a brand with a website and a physical shop in Dukes Lane, Brighton.
Stacey felt so lucky and grateful other people appreciated the craftsmanship and beauty of the jewellery just like she did. They loved the passion the brand had for travel, adventure and its link to native artisans.
And so, Aquila Jewellery was born.
Who are our Artisans?
We’ve always had a great relationship with our Indonesian silversmiths and we love going to see them in their studio to both watch them at work and collaborate with them on new designs.
Their studio is a fine example of modest Indonesian architecture with crafted natural materials and beautifully set structural elements like woven bamboo. Take a tour and explore the studio yourself.
We became more acquainted with our team on a recent visit to Indonesia. Whilst speaking to Sidem, one of our very talented mixed metalsmiths, we learnt more about who he was and how he became a silversmith.
Born in Karangasem Regency, the eastern part of Bali, Sidem is a father of two and a keen singer and walker in his spare time. He loves eating the local delicacies of lawar (mixture of vegetables, coconut and minced meat) and babi guling kas bali (a Balinese roasted pork dish).
He started working with jewellery nearly 30 years ago. His brother invited him to become a silversmith and taught him all of the skills and techniques he now knows today. This is common practice in Indonesia where the masters of jewellery-making pass down their skills to the next generation, keeping the art of silversmithing alive.
We also caught up with Dhea, another member of the team who has been working with jewellery for four years. Born in Gianyar, Bali, she appreciates the simple things in life like walking and finding a quiet spot to take in nature and collect her thoughts. Her favourite local food is babi guling kas bali.
Dhea really loves her job. She enjoys in particular meeting her clients face to face and seeing their reactions to the jewellery that has been made for them.
Our Indonesian team is modest, humble and very welcoming. We look forward to many more years working together with them.
For more about the Aquila family, Meet the Team.