“I believe that when you build enough equity in passion, you become a craftsman.”
Since young, Daphne has always had an artistic flair. But it wasn’t till she experimented working with metals, during her foundation studies in graphic design in Central Saint Martins, did she discover her deep love for metalsmithing in the form of jewellery making.
Topping her class with a distinction convinced her to pursue metalsmithing as an after-class interest. This turned out to be rather serendipitous as she can now create the more unusual, chunky statement jewellery pieces that she loves – which is not easily found in the market – and finally have rings that can fit her skinny fingers.
“I have always loved bold statement rings, but they are really hard to find,” Daphne said, “so I asked myself: should I settle for whatever the world is offering? The answer was an easy no.”
The first proper ring Daphne created was a silver “fish ring” during her days in university. It was exactly what she had been looking for but couldn’t find. She burnt countless hours sketching, carving, polishing and further filling to bring out the exact shape and details she desired. Daphne said: “When it was finally done and I put it on my finger, I felt a great sense of pride. I knew from that moment that I had to keep pursuing this.”
By day, Daphne is an art director at an advertising agency. Despite her hectic schedule, she never once stopped practising her craft and improving her skills. “I actually start to feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable if I haven’t practised my craft in a while. And it has become a passion I can’t ignore.” Daphne smiled. It is because of this that she has no qualms about spending hours and days creating just one single piece of jewellery.
With more Singaporean consumers beginning to appreciate handcrafted items more, Daphne feels that this is a perfect time to take her passion to the next level by setting up her own jewellery brand, and this is also why she decided to join The Balvenie Connoisseurs of Craft initiative.
“The word ‘craftsmanship’ is used so loosely these days that it has begun to lose its meaning. So it’s great to find out that there is a programme that really understands the meaning behind the word and champions it. At the same time, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to share my passion with other people. I am also honoured to stand alongside other talented craftsmen. It is a wonderful chance to learn and get inspiration from them,” said Daphne.
Daphne believes that true craftsmanship has a purpose, and contains an unbelievably high standard of quality, which does not exist enough in the current climate that favours speed above other valuable qualities. At end of the day, it is the heart people put into their work that adds beauty to this world.
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