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Lucinda Hayton

Gem of a find

Andrew Brammall and Amanda Cowin in the Ambleside gallery.
By Lucinda Hayton


AS this year sees glamour back on the catwalk, with an emphasis on colour and a strong sense of style, so follows the return of bold jewellery.

I'm not suggesting we should all rush out and buy those huge earrings as worn on Dallas and Dynasty, but individual, artistic pieces are definitely now'.

Brooches are in' too, whether worn to adorn or used to clasp a cardigan or wrap, replacing the nappy' pin of last year.

Forget the gold charm bracelet and chunky gold necklaces, big does not have to be brash! Artists now design jewellery to say something about your style, and with so many different designers around I defy you not to find a piece that is simply made for you'.

A fabulous find' this month was brought to my attention by stylist Tom Sharp - a beautifully designed store in Ambleside that would sit equally well on South Milton Street, in London. It is not merely a store but a gallery designed by Chris Brammall, artist and blacksmith, who took on the daunting task of ripping out the guts of the old gift shop and cellar and, along with wife Heidi, totally redesigning the layout, new centre stairwell and all.

"Chris even designed and made the display cabinets, so even they are unique," said Sylvia Brammall, his mum, who, along with his dad Andrew, own the new wing' of The Old Courthouse Gallery.

I asked Sylvia why they had decided to take on the store opposite their existing gallery in Ambleside. "With so many talented jewellery designers, whose work we wanted to show, we simply didn't have enough space in our existing store so we made the decision to separate the jewellery from the other art, and show it in its own unique environment across the road."

Chris and Heidi Brammall are obviously very talented, the shop looks superb with its vibrant purple rubber floors (French of course) and soft spearmint green frontage.

It took me an hour to slowly walk among the glass cabinets of jewellery, each artist's work being individually displayed, unique in style, crying out to be worn. "All our designers are British, although some now live abroad where they draw inspiration from their surroundings," said Sylvia.

I have not seen such a beautiful array of sculpted, twisted, delicate and individual jewellery under one roof, for a long time.

The Old Courthouse Jewellery Gallery can be found on Market Street, Ambleside.

On P15 are just a few of the designers being sold at the new and contemporary gallery in Ambleside.

taken from Leisure, Westmorland Gazette