Disegno Fine Jewellery: The Essence of Design

Pamela Coulston is the owner of Disegno Fine Jewellery,  launched in 1992. In Italian “disegno” means more than just “design.” The word also suggests the ability to envision a design and execute the drawing. At the heart of this notion is the discovery of fresh concepts, often from unexpected sources;. It is the perfect name for her work.

Pamela Clouston ImageAs a designer, Coulston has a detailed and creative eye and in every piece she makes, be it a ring, pendant or bangle, you can see her obsession with detail and yet, it is not overdone. “The best thing that can be brought to any design, be it jewellery or otherwise, is simplicity. The greatest sin is overdesign”, she says.

Jewellery design wasn’t Coulston’s first career choice. She spent more than two decades working as a consultant in International Development. It was while posted with Unicef in Rwanda that she decided to find a way to make creativity a business. Coulston’s first love is drawing and an affinity for jewellery led her to study design at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in California. She has since gone on to study gemology and is midway through diplomas at both GIA and the Canadian Gemological Association.

The cornerstone of Disegno is the Fine Lines Collection and the Solo Uno Collection both of which consist of fine 18k gold, platinum and unique gems.

Coulston works in four different colours of 18k gold. There are the basic yellow and white hues of gold but she brings rose and green into the mix. “I love the way green gold makes gems ‘pop’ and I love pairing rose gold with unlikely colours of gems, like bright orange spessartite.”

Bold urban designs in sterling silver define the Perpetual Emotion Collection and the Chrome Dreams Collection is comprised of motorcycle-inspired argentium-silver pendants. Her Arctic travels inspired the Canada Collection. A menagerie of sculpted sterling silver animals and icons, including polar bears, dominate the design.

RET_1862Her gemological studies are bringing a greater focus on unique, natural gemstones of the finest quality and a preference for Canadian diamonds to her work.

While Coulston has a strong jewellery aesthetic, she has quickly become known in Ottawa as a custom designer bringing client concepts to life. Pieces are tailored to budgets and a multistage design process brings ensures satisfaction.

Disegno has a program dubbed “The Gold Bar.” Through it, Coulston redesigns gold jewellery and gives credit for old gold towards a new piece. “I really did my homework on this one ensuring I gave top rates for gold credit. What I really love about the redesign process, is the opportunity to bring out the client’s story in the piece of jewellery.” The sentimental value of grandma’s wedding ring can continue for another generation. For ideas on what she can create, visit her gallery of custom designs online.

Disegno’s boutique in the Byward Market is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.