MY WORK SO FAR...

I attended The City of London School, where I realised early on that I wanted to make things and be creative. I hung out in the school’s art department and went on to a Foundation course at Wimbledon School of Art, where I was guided towards metalwork and jewellery. I spent the next four years at Sir John Cass School of Art in Whitechapel, learning traditional jewellery and silversmithing techniques, as well as experimenting with larger sculptural pieces like wrought iron thrones and body armour. I created my first series of spheres and orbs in mixed metals for my final year show which led to the prestigious British Jewellers Award for Outstanding Jewellery in 1988. I exhibited these pieces at the Goldsmiths’ Fair in London,1989.

 

I set up my first workshop in Brixton in 1990, making contemporary silver jewellery and soon moved to Soho where I created jewellery for private and retail clients including:

 

Jess James Gallery, London

Electrum Gallery, London

Dinny Hall, London

Browns, London

Harrods, London

Jigsaw, UK & Japan

 

My work then got noticed by the fashion world and my jewellery was featured in numerous fashion magazines.

In 1995 I won a commission to create the trophy for Kodak’s Amateur Photographer of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A year later I was asked to create the wedding rings for Brides Magazine “Bride of the Year Award”.

 

In 1996 I moved out of the busy West End and set up a new workshop in the more tranquil setting of Eel Pie Island on the River Thames. On Bonfire night 1996, the entire studio was burnt to the ground. I lost all my artwork and equipment. In the hot ashes the next morning I found a single gold ring that I had been working on the night before, it was all that I took from the ruins. 

 

I was lent a studio space nearby and spent the following year creating hanging sculptures in plastic and paper. It was during this time of rebuilding my work that I first became interested in Buddhism. I began to attend meditation classes at a London Buddhist centre, and inspired by the visiting Buddhist masters who taught there, I started volunteering in my spare time.

 

Word soon spread within the community that I was a jeweller and I began to be asked to repair old Indian and Tibetan jewellery. Then I was asked to make new pieces for people, and gradually, without really trying, a new collection emerged. Since 1997 I have been making jewellery for Buddhists around the world, and have gained a reputation as the craftsman to go to for some of the finest quality contemporary Buddhist jewellery.

 

During this same period, I spent several years working for Simon Harrison Ltd, a leading fashion jewellery production company, as a senior designer. There I learnt computer design and 3d printing techniques. I designed jewellery collections for Paul Smith, Jigsaw and other UK brands, and designed watches for Vivienne Westwood.

 

In 2007, wishing to move away from the city and explore Buddhism more deeply, I went to live at a remote Buddhist retreat centre in the South of France. I set up a workshop there where I continued to make Buddhist jewellery, and also travelled the world, selling it across Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. I continue to make this work for the International Buddhist community, available via my Etsy store at:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SimonDayJeweler

 

Living in the French countryside for over 12 years gave me the time and space to develop my skills and explore my art. I learnt how to make everything myself, teaching myself engraving, metal spinning and perfecting my wax carving skills.  It also inspired me to follow a whole new direction in my own personal artistic work, and I began to create spheres again, over 20 years since I first started making them. It has been a long, circuitous path leading back to the beginning.

 

I returned to London in 2019 and established a new workshop in Wimbledon. Here I have spent the last year creating a collection of precious lockets. These emerged from a combined fascination with old English pocket watches, and traditional Buddhist lockets or “Gaus” which contain sacred objects and are worn as amulets. 

I also completed a large collection of sculptural spheres which are now proceeding to the next stage, when they will eventually emerge as finished pieces. 

 

The timeless beauty and profound wisdom of the Buddhist tradition infuses all aspects of my work. Buddhist art is intended to inspire, uplift and transform the viewer. My own personal work shares the same positive intention, albeit in a more modern manifestation. The Buddhist principles of mindful awareness that I have learnt are an inherent part of my making process. I create each piece with the same care and precise attention to detail. 

My hope now is that my work continues to uplift and inspire those who engage with it. 

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