It's been a phenomenal few months for Chester jewellery designer Claire Troughton, having been recognised in two national industry award schemes.
Claire Troughton beat more than 100 other jewellers to win the British Jewellers’ Association Excellence in Jewellery Award at the British Craft Trade Fair and was a finalist in the jewellery and precious metal category of the Craft and Design Selected Awards.
Feats made even more remarkable by the fact that Claire’s was one of the businesses based in the Chester Enterprise Centre when a fierce blaze tore through it in December 2010, destroying her work space, stock and tools, and leaving the brand’s future hanging in the balance.
Spurred on by her passion for jewellery-making, Claire set about rebuilding the business from a new studio on River Lane in Saltney, following a short stint working out of her parents’ ‘freezing cold’ garage.
Claire, who lives in Handbridge with her husband and seven-year-old daughter, said: “It was not only the loss of the physical items that hurt, but it felt like 15 years of memories had also been taken from me.
“I must admit there were a few days following the fire when I walked around in a daze thinking it would be too hard to start again.
“However, I just couldn’t leave my passion behind and slowly started to rebuild.”
After starting to make her own jewellery in 1996, Claire specialises in silver collections and bespoke engagement and wedding rings.
She says she ‘loves’ creating bespoke items: “These are pieces you just cannot buy on the high street, often containing a stone from a sentimental item or a favourite theme.
“I love the challenge of working on something I have never attempted before.”
Claire is now working on her Christmas collection, which is inspired by Delamere Forest’s ferns.
On scooping the prestigious British Jewellers’ Association Excellence in Jewellery Award, she said: “I was so thrilled to win the Excellence in Jewellery Award as it was an accolade chosen by industry experts.
“The judges were very complimentary about not only my designs, but the display and thought given to the packaging items to enhance the customer experience.
“It was a huge boost to my confidence to be recognised in this way and to know the British Jeweller’s Association had been keeping an eye on the progress of the business.”
Specialist judge Kath Libbert in the Craft and Design Selected Awards told of how hard it was to choose a winner when ‘all six finalists are creating such fantastic work’.
Describing Claire as a ‘very talented maker’, Kath said: “Claire Troughton’s sensitive nature-inspired collections show her great skill both as a maker and a designer – even her production ranges retain many detailed handmade elements.”
For more information about Claire’s designs, email email@example.com or click here.