At the end of April, I took a 10 day trip to the United Kingdom for a much-needed vacation. I haven’t been to Europe in 4 years and having time away to recharge and see history was everything I had hoped for. England has been number three on my list of places I’d like to visit for a while now, mainly because of the history classes I studied in college. Seeing the things I learned about first-hand was everything I hoped for.

That being said, I wanted to write about some of the things I found inspiring across the pond. My ultimate goal is to take some of the jewelry inspiration ideas I saw and create a jewelry collection. Stay tuned to see how this materializes.

Details on the buildings

I love visiting old cities. Why? Because in most older cities the buildings have beautiful detailing on the side. I saw it in Chicago when I was there in the fall and the United Kingdom was no exception.

When we were in London and Edinburgh, many of the older buildings had beautiful details either with statues or door engravings. These details not only were pleasing to look at, but they reminded me that adding an extra touch for the visual appeal can help make something you see every day that much more interesting. This is the kind of jewelry making inspiration I adore. 


Similar to the building accents that I saw above doors, fences, particularly in London, had additional elements making them visually pleasing. While metal wrought gates and fences are interesting already, seeing different decorative elements made them extra inspiring. This included gold accents, decorative caps, and artistic elements added to the gates. These details made something ordinary much more special and interesting.

The royal armory

Within the White Tower at the Tower of London, old armors, swords, shields, cannons, and other weapons were on display. Many of these items were crafted to be for show and not use in war  (take King Henry VIII festival armor as an example), allowing the piece to have a level of detail and craftsmanship that was awe-inspiring. Seeing the use of etching within these items and even the addition of gold accents with the silver coloring of the steel reminded me that creating small details the wearer and admirer can enjoy up close is an idea worth exploring.

The Crown Jewels

While at the Tower of London, we also stood in the long line to see the Crown Jewels in person. While it took time to get to the jewels, it was certainly worth the wait. These items not only were spectacular as a whole but the individual gems in each piece were amazing alone. I don’t expect to begin using diamonds the size of quarters in my jewelry designs. But seeing the craftsmanship of the artisans was special for me as a maker.

Jewelry inspiration ideas in England and beyond

I will always search for jewelry inspiration ideas when I vacation; seeing things and applying them to your work helps you grow as an artist. In addition to these things, I saw so many things I hope to channel into my work in the future. When you travel, what inspires you? Be sure to share below!

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