Jewellery designer Charlotte Lynggaard is so ardent about her designs that she
visualises them 24 hours a day. Thousands of working hours have been dedicated to her passion for the new Gipsy collection.
By Theresa Valbæk
“It’s like finding a sweetheart who you fall in love with. I’m completely captivated and dream about it at night – for days. Every time I have to leave it for a while I look forward to returning to work with it again.” Charlotte Lynggaard puts down her coffee cup on the oval table and looks up with a smile. She is slender, looks ravishing, has sympathetic eyes and a firm handshake. She’s talking about her experience designing the first jewel piece that sets the tone for a whole new collection. She entertains no limits, either with time or money. Nothing must get in the way of complete creative freedom. “I’m very preoccupied with the piece I am working on now. I have this almost constant mental image but am trying to perfect it even more,” she adds.
Beauty from within
It’s nine in the morning. We’re sitting in the heart of the jewellery company Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen just north of the city, in Hellerup. The company is named after Charlotte Lynggaard’s father who founded the company. Both table and floor are covered with images of her latest collection, Gipsy. The theme is one of nature and bohemian verve. And the many turquoise, delicate pinks, green, orange and red nuances are overwhelming. “Look at this ring, for instance,” Charlotte Lynggaard says, turning a large gold ring between her fingers. It’s shaped like small leaves folded round an impressive pink opaque cabochon of African origin. “That was the starting point with the Gipsy collection. I had it in my mind and so all I had to do was get going.” Lotus is the name of the new ring with matching pendant, available in silver and red, pink, black and white gold with a silky touch achieved using a secret method known only to the goldsmiths in the Hellerup atelier. “The most difficult thing is to get the jewel out of my head and down on paper. That can take me some time. I envision the jewel quite clearly in my head but turning the ideas into real jewels isn’t easy. There is sketching and modelling to do before you achieve just that.”
Around the world
The Gipsy collection is made with gemstones from Brazil, India, Africa, Sri Lanka and Italy. Such a globetrotting venture was needed to source the right hues and faceting. The different rings, pendants, necklaces and earrings can be combined endlessly or worn individually. The Gipsy collection has been underway for the last three years. And it’s been a challenge for all staff involved. “I’m not the easiest person in the world to deal with,” says Charlotte Lynggaard. “It’s been very challenging for the goldsmiths when time after time I come up with ideas for changes. Luckily we know and understand each other well. Few consider that the jewellery they buy from us has been through an enormous process. I’m such a perfectionist and I just have to keep trying, again and again.” Her dedication also takes its toll. She often feels the need to walk in the woodlands just for a change of air. “There are days where I’ve felt really low. Days where I have been afraid that all that I’ve worked for the last two years would come to nothing. Then I need to get a breath of fresh air, go for a walk or a jog. And then I’m back in the saddle again. The next day I’m on cloud nine about what we’re doing.”
Charlotte Lynggaard moves closer at the table to better explain her jewellery designs. She’s an inspired and genuine communicator. And she’s wearing the magnificent Gipsy collection pendulum with transparent quartz with strings of golden rutile crystal, also known as “Venus hair”. And on her arm is last year’s huge success – her famous Sweet Drop leather armband studded with gemstones and diamonds. The dedicated designer is married and has three children. Her husband is the commercial director of the company and her brother is the CEO, and all family members are involved in launching a new collection. Charlotte Lynggaard is very confident. “When the jewels are out there being presented I’m always quite nervous, of course. But I have a good feeling that they will be a success. Nothing leaves the house before I am 100% satisfied with every detail. In that way I am very sure of myself because I work so much with the jewellery designs.” But the designer does worry about whether she is able to communicate the ideas behind the collections well enough. “Well, I’d like people to sense just how ardent we are, and make them aware that when they buy our jewellery they are getting a unique piece of crafted design.”
Like father, like daughter
The charming orange-hued townhouses are abuzz with activity. The presentation this morning of the Gipsy collection is about to conclude and Charlotte Lynggaard has a busy schedule. New pieces of jewellery are ready for inspection and will need attention. “I am very focused on detail,” she says. “And so is my father, so it’s probably a family trait. We are very thorough when creating our designs. It’s almost as important to me that a ring is given the perfect presentation box as it is to select the perfect hue of the gemstone. Everything is important.” As one of few Danish jewellery companies, Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen has opted to keep production in Denmark. To Charlotte Lynggaard this adds an extra sense of security in the design process, allowing her to sit alongside 35 local employees. And she prefers having people close at hand so she can be involved in the creative process from the very beginning to the final touch. “Working so closely with the other goldsmiths makes it easier to achieve the perfect result. And our clientele is ensured craftsmanship of very rare excellence. Everything is handmade with passion and dedication to the craft.” The Gipsy collection by Charlotte Lynggaard includes rings, chains, earrings and pendants in more than 100 different combinations. The rings retail for between €900 and €8,500. All are exclusive designs of exceptional calibre created by a passionate and dedicated jewellery designer.