Claire Donald is an exciting asset to the world of fine jewellery. Despite coming from an unrelated background….medicine and music….from the age of sixteen she knew that she wanted to be a goldsmith .
Training with Scottish designer and silversmith Graham Stewart in his workshop in Dunblane gave Claire the benefit of not only his renowned expertise but of his father’s too. Having completed three years’ apprenticeship in goldsmithing, Claire left the UK for a taste of the outside world.
Her steps led her to an Atelier in Paris where she was given expert tuition and experience in stone setting from master craftsmen who were specialists in their field. Amongst others, the prestigious workshop set original pieces for Cartier, Chaumes, Alexandre Reza and Boucheron. There she realised her true interest, the art of jewellery design and manufacture. That placement soon confirmed to Claire that designing and making fine pieces was her goal.
Edinburgh’s Hamilton and Inches recognised her talent and she was soon producing pieces for their front shop, a superb opportunity so early in her career.
After a year, London beckoned and Claire went south to complete a two year HND course in Jewellery and Design at the renowned Sir John Cass College. During this time she worked for celebrated Goldsmith John Donald in Cheapside. There she honed her skills and made many contacts who are invaluable in helping to source materials.
She is constantly amazed at the different colours and types of stones that we find here on Earth. This adds to her enjoyment of work.
Her extensive and varied experience has enabled Claire to make unique pieces of silver and jewellery for her growing list of customers. She says:
‘I think the most important thing, for me, regarding my work is to feel the pleasure that you get when you make a piece of jewellery from start to finish and then have a happy customer at the end of it. That is true job satisfaction’.