Andrew Gold Neilson took an unconventional route into jewellery design, having set out on a career with the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen following his graduation in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University. After 10 years in the oil industry, Andrew moved into commercial photography and built up a successful business photographing jewellery and watches for prestigious clients, overcoming the challenges of light and reflections when taking images of highly reflective and polished surfaces.
Having been given a middle name of “Gold” perhaps it should not come as a surprise that he then gravitated towards jewellery design – initially studying at Glasgow Kelvin College, and then to Europe to master micro Pave stone setting.
Working in a range of metals from stainless steel, through gold and platinum Andrew likes to work with grains of gold – choosing the grain sizes and shapes to suit his design and setting many of the grains with pave or rub-over set diamonds. His designs are focused on the European market where bold and contemporary constructions are popular. Taking his inspiration from the geometries of crystals, fluidic forms and atomic structures, he has experimented with making hollow shapes with high strength and low weight. For some pieces he uses the Ultimaker 2, a 3D printer which can print 3D objects from CAD in a matter of hours, to provide formers around which he can construct his materials.
Two collections, Coalescence and Air will be launched in July in advance of the IJL London Show in September and have already drawn attention by earning him selection in the KICKSTART competition ,sponsored by IJL and supported by the BJA. All of his pieces are unique due to the organic forms of the gold grains, and the handmade nature of his jewellery goes against the trend for mass produced uniformity.
Coalescence Diamond Bi-gold band
Many of Andrew’s designs use novel materials, with some of his creations featuring black diamonds – popular in male rings and he uses “grey gold” an alloy of gold with palladium which has a natural white colour avoiding the need for rhodium plating which normal 18 carat white gold requires to achieve and retain the bright white finish customers demand. Andrew also uses polki – diamond slices which are in thin form and allow novel and eye catching designs to be constructed.
Why choose ROFIN?
Laser welding was something Andrew had seen and he was particularly drawn by the ability to weld within hollow structures and the maxim “if you can see it you can weld it” is something he has come to rely on. He had also investigated micro TIG welding, a cheaper solution, but it lacked the versatility, speed and flexibility of the laser welder. Having heard about ROFIN and seen their laser welders in other workshops, the local support and reputation for quality and service were major factors in his decision.