Expert jewellers sparkle for a cause at Bedales

Posted on 15th November 2016

Fans of BBC Antiques Roadshow and designer jewellery were thrilled last week when experts Joanna Hardy and Shaun Leane collaborated on a lecture for Bedales students and guests.

Former Bedales student, Hardy, attended the school from 1974-78 and it was in the Bedales workshop where she made her first pieces of jewellery.  She is now an Independent Fine Jewellery Specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the industry beginning her career as a goldsmith before joining De Beers as a rough diamond valuer, then as a polished diamond dealer in Antwerp, a stint at Phillips, the auctioneers in London, and onto Sotheby’s in Bond Street as the senior jewellery specialist and auctioneer. Hardy has travelled the world exploring mines, has become a self-confessed geek through her incredibly detailed knowledge of gemstones and rides a Harley Davidson motorbike to the BBC Antiques Roadshow locations, where she has become their jewellery valuer and presenter.

Shaun Leane, celebrated world-wide for his modern romantic jewels that push the boundaries of contemporary design, imparted his own tips on how to get started and spoke about his incredible journey starting out at age 14 and his 7 year apprenticeship as a goldsmith in Hatton Garden.

He talked fondly of his friendship with Alexander McQueen and how working in partnership gave him an opportunity to use his classical training in an entirely new artistic way.

Head of Design at Bedales, Ben Shaw said: “The event was a fantastic opportunity for students to hear inspiring tales from two acclaimed experts in their fields and an informative insight into the world of jewellery and design beyond the school. Our students left the talk inspired and motivated, not just about designing in that medium, but also about the philosophy and work ethic needed to be successful. I think the jewellery bay in our new department is going to be a busy place over the new few months!”

The talk raised £800 in support of the school’s John Badley Foundation, which awards full bursaries for children to attend Bedales Prep and Senior Schools.

Head of Development at Bedales, Veryan Vere Hodge said: “We were completely honoured to have the opportunity to learn from two such inspirational individuals.  Their desire for knowledge and deep passion for their subject was clearly evident and a common thread that ran through both Joanna and Shaun’s talks.  We are extremely grateful for their time in supporting the school’s bursary initiative which offers transformational opportunities for disadvantaged children to fulfil their potential.”

Find out more about Joanna Hardy here.
Find out more about Shaun Leane here.