STEPHEN DESIGNS FOR TIM BURTON'S NEW FEATURE FILM DUMBO MADE BY DISNEY
The beautifully handcrafted pieces were a key pendant necklace worn by Nico Parker’s character Milly Farrier and a face fob and handmade chain for Danny DeVito’s character Max Medici.
THE MAGIC OF THE MOVIES
Watch our short film about the bespoke jewellery designs we have made for Hollywood blockbusters, including Dumbo, Snow White & The Huntsman, Dark Shadows and Cinderella. Show-stopping pieces worn by Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Danny DeVito and Nico Parker.
Q&A WITH STEPHEN
Tell us about the key pendant brief and the making of the piece for Nico Parker’s character Milly Farrier?
This was a very specific brief from the film’s property master David Balfour, who wanted a closely inspired design of an antique key that he had found as reference. We made three of these for simultaneous shooting, body doubles and stunts. I sculpted the key and then printed them in wax ready for casting in bronze for the top part and silver for the key. They were textured, polished and aged to look like well worn pieces.
You said you made 3 key pendants - do you always make multiple pieces?
This is something that is quite a normal practice – for example we made two Crucifix necklaces for Brad Pitt's character in Allied, one with a magnetic catch that could easily be ripped off (without damaging Brad Pitt’s skin) during a bit of action, and one with a different catch to be worn all the time. Same for the necklace we made for Angelina Jolie's Maleficent film character which also had to be ripped off in a scene.
THE SYMBOLIC MEANING OF KEY JEWELLERY
Tell us about the face fob and handmade chain you made for Danny DeVito’s character Max Medici?
The face fob and handmade chain was also a specific brief, and in this instance I had to make almost an exact replica of the face fob from a sculpt that David had made in his workshops. This was inspired by Georges Méliès film and famous special effects moon in - Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), from 1902. I sculpted this and then printed them in wax and cast in bronze. I made it in two halves so that it was hollow and wouldn’t weigh too much and pull on the chain. It was soldered together before polishing and patination it to look worn and well loved. It also had perfectly enamelled teeth and eyes. The chain I also sculpted and then cast in bronze, which we then assembled prior to polishing and patination.
What other films projects have you worked on?
Loads! We made a necklace for Alicia Vikander's character in the film Tomb Raider, a ring made for Cate Blanchett's character in Disney’s Cinderella, a pocket watch chain made for Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children worn by Eva Green’s character, a pendant for The Huntsman: Winter War worn by Jessica Chastain & Chris Hemsworth’s character, to name but a few.
What do you love most about working on the film projects?
I am used to working with very talented people in my London workshop and as a designer I really enjoy collaborating with other creative individuals, so it’s wonderful to have this opportunity to work with people like property master David Balfour and 4 x Oscar-winning costume designer Coleen Atwood and people who are so highly skilled in their own fields.
DESIGNS INSPIRED BY OUR DUMBO FILM WORK
ITV News came to visit our London store & workshop