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THE SHARD FOX
I just had to bring Romeo the fox to life when I heard his story
The London collection simply would not be complete without the star of the show, Romeo.
Romeo the fox is probably one of the most special pieces to enter our London collection. Charming and adorable, you may wonder why we have a fox in our urban collection but there really is a wonderful (and true!) story behind this little character and once I heard this story for myself in full, I simply had to make him as an integral part of our own jewellery story too!
Meet Romeo, only a young cub at the time the Shard was constructed. This little fox somehow managed to access the central stairwell of the building and climb his way all the way up to the 72nd floor! Two weeks went by before he was discovered by a very shocked crane driver and he had seemingly survived all this time by living on lunch scraps leftover from the builders who had been working on the site.
Once discovered, Romeo was of course taken to safety (although it took quite some convincing as he was very happy living the high life) and he was checked over before being released back into his familiar, urban territory. Legend has it that he took a look up at the Shard when he was released and then trotted off into the distance.
After hearing this story, I couldn’t NOT bring Romeo to life and my mind started working away whilst I thought about the best way to bring this gorgeous and cheeky character to life in miniature form!
It was so important to me that Romeo showed as much personality as possible even though he is just 1cm in size. I used the Shards own Romeo cartoons as a starting point and decided he should be curled up on a little lunchbox to represent his time living the highlife at the Shard. I wanted to really test my skills as a jewellery designer and see if I could make his lunchbox double up as a little opening locket feature. After many attempts of trial and error and perfecting this design, we managed to get the teeny tiny lunchbox to successfully open on even tinier hinges and once I had managed this, I simply knew that Romeo needed his own set of half munched sandwiches inside his lunchbox.
And so the next challenge was for us to make something around 4mm in size look like a teeny tiny sandwich quarter and secure it inside this teeny tiny opening lunchbox!
Perfection is everything, especially when it comes to putting my name to something!
Once we had successfully brought this wonderful idea to life and I could see Romeo starting to take form, it was both a huge relief and the driving power for me to make him JUST perfect. After all, if our collectors are going to fall in love with this amazing true story like I did, then I should absolutely bring to life this cheeky chappy in the best way possible so that our customers genuinely would want to wear him and pass this story onto others. I wanted him to become a real talking point between friends!
The making process for Romeo was now about adding the finer detail and perfecting him. I added texture to his fur with almosg paintbrush strokes and a little snouty nose, then perfected the lunchbox, adding tiny ‘straps’ where is snaps close shut.
He has been the most joyful piece I have ever had the pleasure of designing and bringing to life and I wanted to capture the cheeky essence of Romeo’s personality in the tiniest size I could master, and I am so pleased that after nearly 2 years of trial and error and so many failed attempts, he is perfect!
People ask me what is inside the sandwiches in his teeny tiny lunchbox. I would like to answer ham and cheese but in all honesty, when I first designed him and his little sandwiches, they were always jam!! A cheeky jam sandwich for a little cheeky jammy fox!
Collect the London Skyline
Romeo is just one part of our incredible London collection, and each piece I have designed and brought to life tells a story and serves a real purpose. I have always believed jewellery should mean something to the wearer and I would like to hope that you have fallen in love with my wonderful miniature masterpieces and will wear them with pride on your bracelets, or as your chosen neckwear for years to come.