With a family history in the jewellery business, a jewellery diploma from Florence, and an award winning ring design, it is rare to find someone as passionate and skilled in custom design as Laura Tedesco.
Laura began working with her father and grandfather at Venetian Jewellers, a Hamilton staple founded in 1954 which closed 59 years later when Laura’s dad retired. In 2008, Laura studied jewellery design in Florence for three months through the Gemological Institute of America and obtained her Graduate Diamonds Diploma. In 2010, one of Laura’s first custom designs, a diamond ring made from her late mother’s marquise diamond, won her first place in the Canadian Excellence in Design Competition. She opened Laura Tedesco Jewellery Design in 2012 on Locke Street in Hamilton.
In addition to diamonds, Laura works with precious and semi-precious gemstones such as Sapphire, Ruby, Topaz and Amethyst to name a few and mainly gold and platinum for metals. She creates custom designs by appointment, whether you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring or to repurpose family gemstones to create a meaningful piece of jewellery.
Laura and her husband have recently introduced computer aid design to render life-like 3D jewellery, and she is in the process of creating her own collection of engagement rings, personalized nameplate necklaces and one-of-a-kinds for a retail showcase in her studio.
With stacks of custom orders on her desk and her husband working close by, I visited Laura in her studio to talk jewellery design and admire her sketches and shimmering designs.
What is your jewellery philosophy: Is it a subtle accessory or star of the outfit?
It’s all about how you feel. Someday an accessory, the next day the star of the show.
Why do you think jewellery has such a sentimental value for people?
There’s something spiritual about jewellery. The metals and stones have all been here since the formation of the planet and further more since the beginning of time. When a piece finds its owner it becomes infused with the wearer’s energy. It becomes personalized. That’s why I find heirloom pieces so fascinating. Who wore that ring or necklace? What was their story?
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration for my designs through everyday life. Design elements are everywhere. It could be anything, the architecture of a building or bridge, a petal of a flower, the smile on my son’s face as he’s playing with his building blocks. Sometimes I look at the strangest things and say, “Hey! That would be an amazing pendant.”
What was it like studying in Florence?
It was honestly like a dream. Walking the streets of Florence just breathes life into the creative process and makes you want to aspire to be like all of the artist’s who contributed to the amazing city.
What was the first piece of jewellery you ever made?
One of the first pieces of jewellery I designed for a customer was at my Dad’s Jewellery Store – Venetian Jewellers. A lady came in with an idea for a ring design. I took on the challenge to create the ring of her dreams. I was definitely nervous as first but once the ring was ready and she saw it her expression was priceless, she was ecstatic, almost in tears. That’s when I knew I did the right thing studying in Florence and started to focus my career on custom design and one-of-a-kinds.
What has been your proudest piece so far?
My proudest moment would be winning first place in a National Jewellery Design competition in the diamond category only 2 years after I started designing jewellery. It’s a piece that means the world to me. I designed it
around my late mother’s marquise diamond.
What is one piece of jewellery you can’t live without?
Two pieces actually: my marquise diamond ring and my engagement ring.
What is popular in terms of trends for the summer?
I try to stay away from trends. I feel jewellery is an extension of oneself and is as unique as the individual who wears it. Be bold.
Laura Tedesco Jewellery Design, 195 Locke St. South by appointment