The ocean’s pull swept Naomi Lewis around the world in search of a piece of herself. She found one of those pieces in a Balinese jewellery-making course, a journey that would eventually lead to the birth of her bespoke jewellery brand, Found Treasure.
Now a master of her craft, Naomi’s bespoke engagement and wedding bands capture each client’s unique style and love story.
Her current work explores the concept of fluidity, following organic shapes and textures, mirroring the ebb and flow of the ocean. A representation of the state of flow; as ever-present, found simultaneously in nature’s elements, human connection, and the creative process. “The tidal wave style bands have become a signature” she says. “I really enjoy making rings in this way. It’s super organic and the waves are always different.”
Distinctive yet subtle, Naomi’s style has evolved through a process of exploration with form and texture. “I suppose I was just trying to create something that was fluid and different each time,” she says. A self-taught technique, based on the ancient knowledge of lost-wax carving forming individual shapes with movement, brought to life by their high polish finish.
Jewellery brings people back to a feeling of connection, Naomi says, be it a person or a place. “It’s such an honour to be asked to create a piece as a celebration of a moment in my clients life.” Her engagement and wedding ring design process seeks to explore these memories and connections, crafting symbols of love that hold so much meaning and encapsulate each couple’s story.
The design concept might begin with something as simple as the colour or origin of a stone. “People come to me with a loose idea – or sometimes no idea – of what they want. We create mood boards and sketches to uncover what designs they are drawn to.” From there begins the intimate process of designing and crafting each ring alongside the client. “I find it beautiful how with jewellery you can create for other people, while channelling a bit of yourself at the same time.”
Naomi’s work often attracts lovers of the sea – swimmers, sailors, and surfers – and so lifestyle is a core consideration within her designs. A ring intended to be lived with and worn, active ocean people need designs that are smooth to touch and enclosed in terms of settings.
“I often suggest a bezel or rub over setting, to allow practicality and avoid the ring from catching,” says Naomi. “It’s really important to me that I understand each client as a whole person, all elements of their lifestyle and activities… sometimes it surprises my clients how considered each design is.”
The notion of longevity is central to Naomi’s ethos, working only with precious metals intended to hold quality and value for a lifetime. Chosen with intention, the diamonds incorporated in her pieces are sourced sustainably in small batches by local divers off the west coast of South Africa.
Art deco Australian sapphire engagement ring
Designed around the client’s favourite colour and deep love for the ocean, this ring contrasts dark blue sapphire with 18ct yellow gold. The one-of-a-kind hand-cut parti Australian sapphire sets the tone, with art deco lines flowing up the the setting, giving a subtle hint to tideline combining the old with the new.
Matching wave wedding band set
Matching wave wedding band set, made with yellow gold. These bands have one straight edge and one wave side so that the band will fit flush alongside the client's engagement ring. The waves on this set have the same gradual motion giving a nod to the couple being aligned and on the same path and wave.
It was a jewellery-making course in Bali that found Naomi stamping letters haphazardly with faltering precision onto the inside of a ring, no notion that this day would be the catalyst for the journey that would become Found Treasure.
“I’d never thought to make jewellery before,” she says. “I loved it. It was so hard … trying to get the letters all stamped out and put together. I made the ring, and I went back a second time to make a spin ring.
Upon returning to her hometown in Cornwall, England, she took a jewellery course. “It just felt like me. Creating with my hands. I could channel my creativity through form and in a way miniature sculptures. Making a ring to size means that ring has been tailor made for that individual which feels really special.”
Growing up in Cornwall, the ocean has held a magnetic pull over Naomi throughout her whole life. “I took it for granted, I think. That was all I’d known, and I just wanted to get away and go to London to start my career. As soon as I was in London, I missed the sea.”
Australian Sapphire Engagement Ring
18ct yellow gold with dark blue Australian sapphire, hand cut in Australia.
Designed around the client’s connection to Australia, this ring contrasts dark blue sapphire with 18ct yellow gold. The one-of-a-kind hand-cut Australian sapphire commands attention and holds fond memories of growing up, travelling, and falling in love. Diamonds even out the proportions and add sparkle to this special piece.
Naomi attended London College of Fashion straight out of college to study Creative Direction, before working as a fashion event designer and commercial stylist. “I loved it. But equally, I think my soul was being drained,” she muses. “The events, the look, would last for a minute – and then they’re gone. The jewellery lasts. That’s important and fulfilling for me.”
It was this intuition and feeling of misalignment that led Naomi to travel and find what felt like her. She soon found herself seeking the sea and its sunsets. “I’d find a place, mark it, and return,” she says. “That was my thing, travelling. And when I look back, I realise that’s what I was searching for, that feeling of being by the ocean.” Time spent seeking herself eventually led her back to her first love, Pat, one she had always held with her as they both built their own paths in life. “I always said, if it was meant to be it would be.”
When, on a whim, he asked her if she would meet him in Mexico - she saw it as their time to give life together a chance. After travelling together, the pair moved to New Zealand. It was in Aotearoa that Naomi immersed herself in her identity as a jeweller, establishing Found Treasure as a brand and building a growing client base. A sense of contentment found in the full-circle nature of her story, connection to their homeland drew Naomi and Pat back to Cornwall earlier this year. Oceania’s influence still an anchor in her evolution as an artist, Naomi still holds a special place for her clients in this corner of the world. “Coastlines no matter where in the world are timeless, and I aim to create pieces that encapsulate that feeling of freedom and magic you get when close to the ocean. I hope that each piece will carry deepened meaning that will last for a lifetime and beyond.”