Michael Cubitt entered into the fascinating world of diamonds and fine jewellery design in 1966. He found his niche as a diamond mounter working in London’s Hatton Garden. He showed such potential that he was enrolled to study jewellery design and manufacture at the Sir John Cass Art School, the premier art school of the time, teaching Jewellery Design and Production, Art and Architecture. From here Michael excelled and gained awards including winning the most prestigious competition held in the UK, the ‘Young Diamond Mounter of the Year’. With his skill now fully recognised he was invited to compete in the International version of the competition held in Basle, Switzerland, where he won the silver medal with only half a point in it, with the gold being awarded to the host country; but that is another story!
Shortly after Mike’s return, the Royal Jewellers, Cartier invited him to join them at their design studios and workshops ‘The English Art Works’ at the New Bond Street, London, W1 Maison. Michael was fortunate to work with Jean-Jacques Cartier at the helm and with the renowned Cartier designer Dennis Gardner. With some of the finest craftsmen and designers of that time working there Michael fine tuned his skills to the highest level making handmade specialised pieces. He was fortunate to see items such as ‘Cartier Tank’ watchcases being handmade and to the restoration of major pieces such as tiaras. This was the heyday of handmade specialist jewellery and Cartier were the King of Jewellers.
At the age of 23, Michael decided to embark on his own venture into jewellery manufacturing in Hatton Garden London. But with a twist. He decided to use his skills in design and manufacturing to develop a new range of designs that could be sold in high street shops. it was all about giving that ‘extra something’ in design with and manufacturing quality to rival handmade. The company was a success and grew from strength to strength, producing designs and manufacturing for other jewellery houses as well as under their own brand name. Exhibiting in Basle, Switzerland with the Department of Trade and industry, the company fast became the seventh largest diamond jewellery manufacturer in the UK. This presented opportunities not only to supply UK wholesalers and high street shops but also to export to the USA, Australia and Canada.
In 2009 saw another milestone. Still in Hatton Garden, Michael’s future daughter-in-law was finding it difficult to find a suitable quality wedding tiara – this sparked an idea. For many years, Michael had been aware of a turn down in handmade jewellery in the UK. The lack of a classic education via meaningful apprenticeships had led to a lack of understanding of how truly fine handmade jewellery should be designed and made. Computer aided design and 3D printing had taken over the craftsmen’s skill. Michael decided he would like to traditional methods and produce a range of fine gem and diamond set tiaras, pieces of fine art that will be tomorrow’s collectable antiques and family heirlooms. Mainly for lease-hire to film production companies, advertising agencies, photographers, selected wedding brides and guests or art exhibitions etc, they were never created for sale. Designing and making the extensive range of 82 classically handmade tiaras took ten years but are finally world beating exquisite pieces of jewellery art.
They were finished in 2019 with an expectation to exhibit in 2020. Covid-19 then took its toll and plans postponed until 2021/2 and will be available to view at our Central London Studios.