Ailsa Ritchie works from her studio in the beautiful Briggait building in Glasgow. Most of the time you can find her huddled over her workbench, working on custom jewellery in recycled precious metals and stones. She has created everything from classic gold wedding bands and diamond engagement rings to silver grasshopper brooches. Ailsa’s work is all about the small details, whether it’s picking up on the subtle surface of a rock and applying it to a wedding ring, adding leaf details to cradle a stone or decorating a pendant with the spots from a ladybug.
Ailsa’s fascination with insects and their habitats started at a young age and continues to influence her work. Her designs always start on paper, and she explores different methods of turning her loose drawing style into tactile jewellery pieces; such as etching, wax carving and combining traditional powder enamels alongside industrial enamel techniques to enable her to draw directly onto the metal. The result is jewellery bursting with texture and flowing lines.
Ailsa uses recycled metals as standard, Fairtrade gold, responsibly sourced stones and eco-friendly studio practices. She was one of the ‘Inaugural 100’ jewellers to join the Fair Luxury Provenance Pledge. Ailsa also teaches jewellery making classes at Central Scotland School of Jewellery in Dunblane and was part of the Craft Scotland Compass Programme in 2020.