REBUS creates handcrafted signet rings and shares why these rings are so personal

It is accurate we appreciate symbolism and personalizing our jewellery. There are quite a few techniques to do so, and signet rings have normally played their portion. The planet has a newfound really like for them as trends produce and our fondness for devoted or individualized jewellery grows. Rebus is a organization specializing in signet rings and cufflinks. I sat down with Emmet Smith conversing about his charming business.

I have been performing in the jewelry trade considering that 1986. My very first foray into the trade was at the Sir John Cass College of Art in Whitechapel, wherever I expended a calendar year studying jewellery design and style and making, stone placing, silversmithing, and hand engraving.

Emmeth Smith, REBUS

I instantly fell in really like with hand engraving I would completely reduce myself in a miniature globe I could create. I then started out a 5-year apprenticeship with a enterprise in Hatton Backyard termed R.H. Wilkins. Little did I know then I would go on to purchase that business twelve decades afterwards.


”I started Rebus in 2005, predominantly thanks to the aggravation of becoming despatched very poor-high quality signet rings to do the job on”


Also, RH Wilkins was a B2B enterprise. Having a workshop of very talented engravers, I wanted to endorse the art of hand engraving immediately to the client who wears our jewelry. 

Rebus, a B2C jewelry brand, authorized me to do just that. All my crew loves functioning carefully with our consumers to build genuinely imaginative artworks that we then seal and engrave into the piece of Rebus jewelry we have established for them. Every single purchaser in the retail store is invited to our workshop, where by they fulfill the craftspeople making their jewellery. They are usually really interested in the engraving process and are shocked at the depth that can be reached with just small handheld chisels (gravers).

This direct get in touch with with the customer provides me (especially as I used two many years in an out-of-sight workshop) and my crew a lot of enjoyment. 

We have fairly a huge workforce for an impartial jewelry business. The workshop is underneath the retail outlet. In this article we make and seal engrave the signet rings and other jewelry pieces. We have eight engravers, one particular of which is still serving her apprenticeship. The apprenticeship lasts 4-5 yrs, depending on age and preceding encounter. Our livery corporation, The Goldsmiths Corridor, indentures our apprentices and presents them and us heaps of support. The jewellery trade is a compact, wonderfully supportive market complete of experienced craftsmen and artists.

We also have an in-dwelling creation department and a revenue and design staff that works with our prospects to flush out their suggestions and provide sketches.

Rachel, one particular of the product sales crew, and one of the engravers choose what we do on the street to the US, where we set up trunk exhibits in accommodations. They were off to LA and West Hollywood in June and took appointments at The London Hotel.   

I at present shell out a whole lot of time dwelling in Crete and have obtained two pet dogs, a border collie (Kenny) and a blended-breed shepherd dog (Dolly). Each canine ended up abandoned Dolly will have to have been 2-3 months outdated when I discovered her in an olive grove. Kenny was around a yr previous when I observed him running all around a mountain street. I suspect he escaped from his prior operator. Regrettably, in rural regions, the canine are remaining tied up in olive groves or fields undesirable puppies are typically discarded. 

This story is from Matthew Hart, a single of our learn engravers who is accompanying Rachel on the US trunk display, who had his canine engraved on his have signet ring:

My mother experienced a fox terrier as a little one and generally needed a further. So one day, we discovered some fox terrier puppies for sale. Straight away, we observed Ted and had to have him. We named him ‘Ted’ because (other than wanting like a teddy bear), I was looking at tons of Father Ted at the time, and it was in between Ted or Doogle. Ted is now 6.

Signet Rings are very private I made a signet ring in memory of my father. 

This is my particular edition of a mourning ring in the spirit of Momento Mori (I now have another signet ring that has the motto Momento Vivere ‘remember to live’ engraved into it). My father, Philip Smith (aka Dickie, Detsy, the Captain), died in 2019, and I resolved to design and style a signet ring in his memory that I could have on daily and remember him.

The shape is a greater edition of the Rebus Marquise, it is built from 18K yellow gold, and I have employed vitreous white and inexperienced/gray enamel.

On a single shoulder, I carved an ear. I took this notion after browsing a museum in Berlin, the place there is a long-lasting ancient Egyptian exhibition. I realized the Egyptians’ use of the ear as an icon was common in their art, wall carvings, and worn as amulets. These hearing or ‘Sacred Ears’ ended up carved into walls of temples so that folks would have the ear of their deity, to share a information with the gods and goddess.

The symbolism of ear amulets is not often perfectly comprehended, but I like the version that it signifies a man or woman and is as a result linked to that particular person. I occasionally hum a tune or say a several text into ‘his ear’ it is a comfort for me. Not to point out it would charm to my Dad’s perception of humor and tends to make me chuckle from time to time.

I selected white enamel on the top rated floor, as utilised in conventional Victorian memento mori jewellery. In the white enamel are raised gold letters that say ‘Not by Words and phrases.’ I was a bit of a tearaway, but he would always give me a hug in periods of difficulties. He didn’t want to say a term they have been unneeded. The phase also is portion of the Latin motto the place I took the title Rebus from ‘Non verbis, sed Rebus,’ not by terms but by suggestions or visuals.

In the middle of the ring is a dark inexperienced colored enamel, which references Ireland Dad was a very proud Irishman. The use of white enamel all-around environmentally friendly provides the signet ring an overall look of an eye, a good quality that was not prepared, but I have normally cherished attractive faults.

Below the environmentally friendly enamel is an engraved graphic of a door. Just after Father died, I found one particular of his notebooks. His first and only entry was a sonnet he copied, which he may well have examine from 1 of his textbooks. At the close of the sonnet, he wrote it was 1 of the most lovely poems he had browse. It is identified as:

When I am useless and laid at final to rest by Gamel Woolsey

There is a line: ‘As air that quickens at the opened door,’ which struck a chord with me, and of system, the picture of a door is a highly effective image and metaphor.

Our two hearts engraved into the doorway have to have no explanation.

I use this ring each day. I’m not finished still. I have an additional shoulder I could carve a single working day, and I approach to place a concept within the shank. He liked Neil Youthful, so probably a line from 1 of his preferred songs.

This signet ring is a reminder, a interaction, and a tribute to our really like. Father and son.

Gail and Sophie gifted every other a ring with their puppies on it. Built and produced by Rebus


Unquestionably sure, our stone setter fosters rescue puppies and routinely brings them in. Also, Kate from the sales crew from time to time walks her canine to work. So, we have two upstairs on event and one downstairs. The Rebus retailer is located on a market road (Leather-based Lane, in central London) that is properly recognized for its beautiful food stuff stalls. I guess the puppies love coming to perform!


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