Celebrating Over 50 Years of Unique Design & Artistry
Elizabeth’s journey to jewellery design started when as a child she was bedridden for long periods of time and had to amuse herself making dolls' clothes, houses and other items to play with, and this manual dexterity has stayed with her all her life. She also travelled with her family, and especially her Grandmother, in Europe and the USA which gave her an interest in history and the natural world.
After completing a course at the Chelsea School of Art in the early 1960’s she was offered a ring by a friend but could not find a design she liked. Elizabeth instead designed a ring for herself, however, unable to find anyone to make it, she enrolled at the Sir John Cass College [now part of London Metropolitan University]. Initially she joined the silver department because the jewellery department was still being completed and this is where she made her first jewel. The butterfly shape came straight from a book yet is already recognisably an Elizabeth Gage piece, with the stone settings and its attention to detail. The silver department was a very formative part of Elizabeth’s education, and the butterfly and similar projects taught her about cutting and forming metal.
Once she had mastered the basic techniques Elizabeth’s tutor, Mr Oliver, allowed her to work exclusively on her own designs, for which she needed to formulate her own techniques. A gift of an ounce of gold from her mother enabled Elizabeth to start making and selling her jewellery and she slowly started to build her business. The year she left college in 1968 she received a commission from Cartier in New York to create a special collection for their new catalogue, a great accolade for a young woman in an industry which at that time was dominated by male designers. Elizabeth loved working with 18 ct gold and was constantly researching new ways to create different finishes and textures, still a key feature of her designs.
To further expand her gold working experience she also travelled to Crete to find out more about the ancient methods used on the island. Whilst there she was given a set of steatite Minoan Seals and using five she created the very first Kiss pin, a piece she still owns and wears. This unique style has become a signature design, every one is different and yet they all share the same basic construction. This is where she became interested in the art of granulation, another technique she has taken and used in her own unique way, with swirls of fine wirework and scattered beads which is referred to as her wire and granulation finish. In 1972 she received the De Beers Award for diamond design for her innovative Agincourt ring, a flexible ring, very comfortable and which is still made with many variations. By now Elizabeth had stopped working at the bench and employed goldsmiths to create her exclusive designs so she could dedicate herself to her design work and her business.
After working in both the UK and the USA Elizabeth finally settled into a charming studio in Beauchamp Place in 1979 and in 1984 a growing business moved her to Albemarle Street, where she occupied first No. 20 and then at No. 18. Most recently she has moved to an elegant town house in the heart of Belgravia where finally she was able to fulfil her dream of both her production team and sales team being under the one roof. She still designs every piece that bears her name.