Our Hello Vendor profiles give you the chance to take a peek behind the scenes and get to know these incredible talents. First featured in Issue 15, Jewellery Designer Aaron Ruff shares his experiences in the industry and what it is about Digby & Iona that makes us swoon. In his Brooklyn based studio, Aaron creates jewelry inspired by everything from history and literature, to the design of nature and tools of necessity. Keen to learn more about this talented dude? Keep reading below…
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
My background has always been in craft, my family business is carpentry so I grew up learning the trade. I went to design school for Furniture design and ran a bespoke furniture design shop for a few years after school before moving over to jewelry.
2. How did you get into the jewellery making game?
Entirely by accident, while running my furniture shop I began making jewelry in my spare time, the same design shops that sold my furniture began selling the jewelry and it began to take off. At that time there were very few non-traditional jewelers so my work began selling and I organically moved my focus from wood to metal.
3. What’s a typical day in the Digby & Iona studio like?
My ideal day would be spent primarily prototyping new designs and picking through diamonds, in reality my time is about 60% emails and 40% prototyping, stone sourcing and designing new work.
4. Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from historical references and literature.
5. Where do you source your stones?
We source our newly mined stones from all over the world as well as using a lot of post-consumer diamonds that have come from antique jewelry. For new material we work with only two suppliers whom we trust implicitly to secure gems that have been ethically mined and cut. Since there are unethical practices happening all over the world we prefer not to discount entire countries or continents but instead pick the individual mines we source from so that we can support these miners.
6. What’s your most popular design?
Our most popular design fluctuates quite a bit from month to month, at present it would be the Oona and Kira styles.
7. What is the price range of your rings?
Our stock rings range from around $200 USD for a silver signet to up to $10,000 USD for a diamond engagement ring.
8. How long does a ring take to craft from concept development to final product?
To source a very specific one of a kind gem can take months, once we have a design and all the materials construction take 4-6 weeks.
9. What are your fave three items in the store right now?
My favorites are always the newest work so today its the new version of the Kaho ring with gold inlay, the Nico and the Aberdeen (both new diamond ring designs)
10. Do you ship to Australia/New Zealand?
Yes, we ship worldwide.
12. Aside from wedding rings, what other products does Digby & Iona make?
We make with wedding and engagement rings as well as a full line of silver signets and other jewelry.
13. What’s your favourite part of your job? (i.e. developing the initial concept, bringing the design to life, seeing the final product)
Easily it’s getting to play with gems, I never thought that would be part of my job description.
14. What makes you unique as a jewellery designer?
I think my unconventional training and past careers give me a unique perspective on jewelry design.
15. What can we expect to see from Digby & Iona in the future?
My goal is continue increasing both the silver and high end lines, specifically right now I’m focusing on making a new line of rings that focus on sapphires as well as a line of non-jewelry accessories.
16. Any jewellery trends you’d like to see make a comeback?