British gemmologist and jewellery designer Ming Lampson was born in Hong Kong, trained in India and has lived in Sri Lanka and Thailand. The rich tapestry of her life and travels is immediately evident in her boldly-coloured and sculptural designs. Here, she talks inspirations and everyday diamonds.
A lot of meetings with stone dealers, liaising with clients, selecting stones, drawing and trying out different designs. I love the magic of speaking to a ruby dealer in Burma and a sapphire dealer in Sri Lanka each week.
I put on an old movie that I’ve seen like fifty times because it’s very peaceful and familiar and can sometimes capture your imagination.
Ming wears the Rafaela Dress in Leopard Orchid Forest Green
From my latest collection, in which I explored the Japanese ideal of capturing something fleeting and representing the seasons. The autumn sun is so interesting, it’s got so much shadow because the days are short, bright and cold. The ring was from an imaginary garden of a lotus leaf on a Japanese pond, so it’s a green tourmaline leaf on a pool of lapis lazuli surrounded by black diamonds. I’ve been really interested in Japanese traditions of arts and crafts, working on one thing over and over again, and how that becomes a meditative state.
Rings from Ming’s eponymous collection
And how the pattern and form is approached which I don’t always encounter. It has an intensity, but it’s not forced in anyway.
And the more you look at it the more amazing details are in it. You can wear it with trainers and a jumper, then take the jumper off and head straight out to meet someone and feel fantastic. Or, you could wear it to an amazing party and dress it right up. I guess that’s how a lot of my jewellery is; you could put it with jeans and trainers or wear the most incredible dress and work the red carpet in it.
The target of anything in life is to do it so well that it becomes an art.
Ming wears a jumper from our exclusive knitwear collaboration with Edamame London.
INTERVIEW BY: GILLIAN BRETT
PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSICA MAHAFFEY
STYLIST: KENDAL BOYLE
HAIR & MAKE-UP: CLAIRE DE GRAFT
The knitwear is available to buy at Edamame London