Since launching his eponymous brand in 2018, @bleueburnham‘s jewellery has grown from strength to strength. Bleue invites us into his world of gemstones, nature, and a luxurious understanding of health and happiness. And, of course, good music – check out his ‘Summertime Romance’ playlist on the MSM Spotify.
Glittering pink saccharine sapphires, emeralds glowing green like the magical Crocodile Tongues in James and the Giant Peach, silver glinting like distilled moonlight and golds that seemed to be melted from fields of sun-drenched summer wheat. Welcome to the world of Bleue Burnham. Since the launch of his eponymous brand in 2018, the craftsmanship of Bleue’s memorising jewellery has won over the hearts of many a customer and caught the eye of an impressive rota of eclectic boutiques and stockists. Bee Beardsworth talks to Bleue about his passion for nature, practising sustainably, and how he makes jewellery to last lifetimes.
Interview by @beebeardsworth below
Hey Bleue, how are you?
I’m really good thank you! The sun is shining, flowers are smelling beautiful and I’m feeling inspired!
Where are you based and where did you grow up?
I’m currently based in London, but I was born and raised in Brighton. Brighton was an amazing place to grow up. It’s relaxed and you have the beach and lots of parks. The 90s was a particularly enjoyable time to grow up there. There was lots of partying which was fun for the adults and the kids!
Where does your passion for jewellery stem from?
I think it stems from being in awe of its beauty. Seeing a beautiful gold ring or glistening gemstone, or both, can be mesmerising and can completely elevate an outfit.
How did you start making jewellery? And what was the first piece you designed?
I started making jewellery when a friend of mine who is a trained jeweller taught me how to make a ring. As soon as I made one ring and saw the finished piece I was hooked.
Who or what inspires your creative process and designs?
I take a lot of queues from nature but generally all my jewellery is inspired by a luxurious understanding of health and happiness. Spending time in nature is spending time in a beautiful garden with dining tables, swimming pools and lots of beautifully coloured flowers.
Our forthcoming collection, which was presented in Paris, January 2020, is titled Grow With a Garden and explores the connection between humans, flowers, plants and gardens.
I know from speaking to you (and bonding over my grandmother’s diamond rings that I always wear!) that one of your desires is to create heritage jewellery, that can be passed down through generations. As a designer, how to you straddle between the worlds of modern innovation and classic timelessness?
I remember them well! This is so important to me! To me, jewellery is fraudulent unless is can last a lifetime. One of the most amazing things about jewellery is having it for a long period of time, it being with you through important moments in your life and then being able to hand it down. The love, fondness, and sentimentality that the gift of jewellery creates is one of the most beautiful things jewellery has to offer. I strongly advise people not to buy plated or vermeil jewellery.
Your eponymous brand is rooted in core values of environmental consciousness and sustainability, and transparency in the supply chain. How do you uphold these values and why is it important to you to do so?
My background is in environmental sustainability and this is something which is deeply important to me. It informs all elements of my life, including the brand. It is so important to me that the business is a positive pillar of society and not just beneficial to ownership and customers, but beneficial to all it affects. I don’t shout about it too much because I don’t like to use it as a marketing tool. There is a full breakdown on our website but as a brief overview: we make the jewellery using recycled precious metals, we make in London and transport via bicycle, we store/reduce 125kg of carbon per item sold, we have an incentive scheme to encourage our customers to use renewable energy, we bank responsibly, we offering a remaking service, and we make jewellery designed to last for multiple lifetimes. To me this is a continuous process and we will continue to keep open mind, learn, adapt and grow.
How do you see Bleue Burnham jewellery developing and growing in the future?
As we move forward, I see the design moving into a more sophisticated representation of health and happiness, I see the business continuing to expand, and I see our environmental policy continuing to learn and grow.
I’m also really looking forward to the next month, when we will be launching the new collection on Matches, MrPorter, Browns, Farfetch, Harvey Nichols, SSENSE & Whitebird.
Who are your favourite artists, designers and jewellers?
People wise, I’m really into Monty Don, Isabella Tree, Olafur Eliasson, Rick Stein and Alessandro Michele right now.
What is your mission statement?
Be kind, work hard, relax well and keep learning.
Lastly, what is your favourite food and a book that you would recommend?
Wilding by Isabella Tree - this is a must read. Endless examples of the beauty and intelligence of nature.
Eating wise - pasta ☺
Interview by: @beebeardsworth