27, February 2015: Chris and Joy Poupazis, jewellery designers based in the Oxo Tower Wharf in London, were among the creatives who contributed to Every Heart Beats, a special Valentine’s event sponsoring the British Heart Foundation. The designers gave up most of their margins by donating 15% of all revenue made between 31 January and 14 February to the charity, which specialises in life-saving research into heart diseases.
Welcoming their visitors with delicious, self-made cupcakes and cookies in the shape of hearts, Chris and Joy, members of F&L Designer Guides, clearly put their heart and soul into the event. But their passion didn’t only show in the time they spent in the kitchen. The stunning handmade jewellery that was on show was the undeniable evidence of their creativity and craftsmanship.
Chris Poupazis tells us he handcrafts each of his jewellery pieces with love and with care, and each one is a 100% unique. “It’s a meditative process really; it’s like you put a bit of yourself in every piece.”
When gazing into the glass showcase where the Poupazis keep their designer jewellery, several pieces seem to stand out from the rest. Chris tells me about the gorgeous necklace that, with its flame-like silver curves, is inspired by a phoenix rising from its own ashes. An astonishingly unique ring by Joy and Chris Poupazis features the most unusual setting we have ever seen for a pearl, which, as it turns out, has been created with CAD technique and beautifully reflects the colour of the pearl on the inside of the cup-like setting.
We are surprised by the ingenuity of this â€˜fishtail setting’, which conveniently protects the pearl while leaving it almost entirely visible.
Proudly, Joy reveals to us that the edge of the setting is decorated with 53 tiny diamonds which have been meticulously set by their favourite setter. “Pearls are often seen as an old-fashioned choice of gemstone, but we try to break that preconception by integrating them into modern settings.”
It is clear that Joy and Chris Poupazis have heart, not only from their contribution to the Every Heart Beats event but also from the importance they attach to using ethically sourced materials. Joy can even show me a picture of the two particular miners who have mined some of the Tanzanian gemstones she and Chris purchased recently. By tracing the origin of the material they use for their designer jewellery, and their engagement rings in particular, Chris and Joy Poupazis make sure their work is beautiful from the outside – and from the inside.
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