An Interview with Gavin Escolar
1. How do you describe your work? Your brand?
My work expresses who I am - inventive, playful, and unorthodox.
2. How did you get into designing jewelry?
As a child, I was intrigued by the technical watercolor renderings of jewelry that my father kept on his desk, and I have been fond of gemstones ever since. This exposure to gemstones and their details at a very young age led me to pursue jewelry design and creation.
3. Is your dad a jewelry designer also?
No, he is an auto mechanic. However, he ran our family’s diamond trade business. My grandfather started the business during World War II when he saved a resident of Hong Kong who was a well-respected diamond dealer. This man was very thankful to my grandfather, and in return for his kindness, he taught my grandfather the ins and outs of the diamond business. My grandfather then started his own diamond trading business that flourished in Manila. My father took over the business upon my grandfather’s passing.
From that point forward, the family business consisted of selling wholesale diamonds and ready-made jewelry. The business had samples for commercial production as well as select designs for one-of-a-kind pieces with large, quality stones - those designs made in watercolor were the ones I was fond of as a child. In the early 1980s my father closed down the family business because it created tensions within the family. He saved the watercolor renderings and I have used them as inspiration for my own pieces.
My creative process started with copying my father’s watercolors and eventually I began to create my own designs. My process also involved studying and drawing diamonds in unusual geometric patterns.
4. Who do you design for?
I will design for anyone and everyone. I design for my customers in a way that meets their needs but fulfills my creative flair. Jewelry design allows me to freely express myself. I take inspiration from my past as well as from people and their lifestyles.
5. Name some works you created and the people or their lifestyles that inspired you to create these pieces.
I made a couple of pieces for Aysha - a young executive who runs a beauty company in London. I incorporated high fashion and London’s architecture into this custom piece. Aysha commissioned a yellow gold kunzite ring with diamonds, as well as an 18kt sapphire and diamond ring.
I created wedding bands for Alex, an accounting executive, and his wife Elaine, a doctor. Elaine’s band is a white and pink diamond eternity band, and Alex’s is a raw diamond ring. I also designed Elaine’s engagement ring - a large brilliant cut diamond with a small blue diamond underneath in a six-prong classic Tiffany setting.