Back to where it all began; Catherine completed her foundation course in Kent, at the Maidstone School of Art before moving on to Middlesex University. Here she gained her first class honours degree in Jewellery Design and worked with a number of leading names within the design and fashion industry; Dinny Hall, Roger Taylor and Vivienne Westwood.
In 1993, Catherine achieved a Masters in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art.
During her time at the RCA, Catherine made avant-garde, labour intensive, one-off, large hollow fly pressed forms. Her finest example being a 1999 commission for Wendy Ramshaw, OBE CBE, for a special piece at her Millennium Show at Contemporary Applied Arts. (Inset image - Genius two part necklace)
Gradually, Catherine’s design focus evolved and she went on to develop a new style of working, crafting ready to wear pieces.
“I chose to develop a range of work with a wider appeal using the casting method. I love to test every variation on a theme, fabricating pieces in a variety of metals as well as using found objects, both natural and man-made, which are then cast. I like to use them in singular and multiple combinations; the possibilities are endless...”
In 1994 Catherine was awarded a prestigious business grant from The Craft Council to establish her own central London studio. She launched her signature collection and grew her portfolio of clients. Her first studio was in the renowned Cockpit Arts in Holborn and then in 1998, she moved to a stunning loft-style studio in Clerkenwell, before settling in Islington. During her time in London, Catherine was actively exhibiting at the leading trade and retail shows, whilst working on notable commissions including the Blockbuster films, Harry Potter.
Her work was stocked and showcased in; Harrods, Heals, Selfridges, Dickens and Jones, The V&A, The Gilbert Collection in Somerset House and The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.
In 2001, Catherine received two significant awards; winner of the British Jewellers Association Award and finalist of The Jewellery Designer of The Year.
Catherine was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and of the City of London in 2002. She was invited to join the leading directory of Jewellers, Silversmiths and Art Medalists - the Who’s Who in Gold and Silver (www.whoswhoingoldandsilver.com).
In 2008 Catherine moved out of London with her young family and set up home and a new studio in Tunbridge Wells in Kent.
In November 2014 Catherine opened her own Atelier and shop in the heart of The Pantiles, in Tunbridge Wells. The design of the shop combines old with new and has the look and feel of a Victorian workshop, where customers can also watch Catherine create beautiful pieces.
Catherine Hills Jewellery is a unique insight into handcrafted jewellery ‘in the making’. “I feel that my Atelier and boutique not only gives me a presence on the High Street, but means I can now offer a truly bespoke service, working closely with customers to deliver individual pieces. This is a very exciting time for me”.
Cufflinks to HRH Prince of Wales
Cufflinks No. 10 Downing Street
‘Bees’ necklace for The Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy
Wayne Sleep and the late Ned Sherrin
2001 Winner; British Jewellers Association Award
2001 Finalist of Jewellery Designer of the Year
1996 Winner; Meilleur Createur European Atelier d’Art de France, in Paris
1995 New Exhibitor Prize, Chelsea Crafts Fair
2015 Goldsmith Fair, Goldsmiths Hall, London, UK
2015 ‘Hay on Wye Literary Festival’, The Bowie Gallery, Hay, UK
2013 ‘Un Printemps Anglais’, Galerie Elsa Vanier, Paris, France
2010 ‘Poetry’, Twenty Twenty Gallery, Much Wenlock Poetry Festival, Shropshire, UK
2005 ‘On the Cuff’, The Goldsmiths Hall, London UK
2005 100 Brooches Velvet da Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2000 Wendy Ramshaw Millenium Exhibition CAA, London, UK
1999 Contemporary Decorative Arts, Sotheby’s, London, UK
1997 Solo Showcase, Crafts Council, V&A Museum, London , UK
1997 Flessibellissimo, Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen, Holland
1996 Scmuckszene 96, Munich, Germany
1994 Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, Holland
1992 Triennale de Bijou, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
2011 ‘Silversmithing for Jewellery Makers’ by Elizabeth Bone; pages 120 and back cover
2007 ‘The Earrings Book' by Yvonne Kulagowski, A&C Black; pages 97-100
2000 ‘Jewellery Design, The Artisan’s Reference’ by Elizabeth Olver; page 6-9, 21, 26, 29, 33, 39, 49, 59, 66-67 and 71
1999 ‘Design Sourcebook’ by David Watkins, New Holland Publications; pages 54-55
1998 ‘The Ring Design Past and Present’ by Sylvie Lambert, Rotovision Publications; page 223
1994 ‘The New Jewellery Trends and Traditions’ by Peter Dormer and Ralph Turner, Thames and Hudson Publications; page 178