This is the latest in our Made in London series of films about London-based makers by filmmaker William Scothern. This month’s video is about jewelry designer and goldsmith Ella Bull. Watch:
Choosing a career in jewelry wasn’t Ella’s first choice growing up. “I was always quite creative in school, got high grades in artistic subjects but was also quite academic at the same time,” she says. However, when it came time to do her exams, Ella found herself losing interest in a more scholarly path. “For A-Levels I did all sciences and failed them all,” she laughs. “Because I just had no interest in any of that.”
After taking a year out Ella found the idea of making jewelry appealing and chose to leave her home-base of Cornwall and move to London for an apprenticeship.
Recently going into business for herself and setting up in Peckham Levels, a newly transformed multi-storey carpark providing creative workspaces, has not been without challenges. “At the moment I’m working six to seven days a week. I like being able to shut myself off in a room and get my head down for a couple of hours,” she says. “I don’t really mind it so much as I enjoy what I’m doing, but hopefully it won’t be like this forever!”
Ella describes her overall relationship with jewelry as a tricky one as she currently goes through the process of registering as a fair-trade gold jeweler. “You have this pretty, shiny object and people don’t think about where that’s come from,” she says. “We need those people that are mining that gold to create this lifestyle for ourselves. It doesn’t seem fair to just give them a rough hand in what they’re doing.”