DESIGN STUDIO: Laura Tedesco

Life has a funny way of leading us where we need to go. For Laura Tedesco, her path began the day she was born.

Born into Hamilton's historic Venetian Jewellers family, Tedesco began working at her father's jewellery store as a teen. “I had always shown an interest [from a young age],” she says. “I remember asking “˜Can I help? Can I clean the jewellery?'” As she reached her late 20s she started becoming restless working in the family business.

“I had never really travelled abroad in terms of education. I was working at my dad's store doing a lot of buying and sales, which I didn't really enjoy, so at that point it was really “˜What else can I do in the jewellery industry?' I decided to try design.”

This choice landed Tedesco in Florence, Italy where she enrolled in the Jewellery Design Program through the world-renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA). “It was life altering,” she says. “I didn't realize I was an artist until my late 20s. I knew I liked design; I liked buying jewellery, seeing the unique details. I really liked the design aspect of it, but I didn't know I had any artistic abilities until that trip.” Tedesco became a GIA certified Diamonds Graduate, completing the technical portion at the school's main campus in California.

Upon her return, she continued working at the family business doing the ordering but expanding her role to include custom pieces. In 2010, realizing she needed her own space, Tedesco began custom design work under her own name, Laura Tedesco Jewellery Design, and in 2012 opened a small shop on Hamilton's Locke Street.

Designing fine jewellery that blends modern and traditional aspects, Tedesco's favourite pieces to work on have stories behind them, “Jewellery with meaning is my goal,” she says.

The “L'infinita” collection is a perfect example of the sentimental value of Tedesco's work. A stylized infinity symbol formed from two “Ls” that represent the first names of Tedesco and her mother, Linda. “She passed away when I was younger, so it's two “˜Ls,' together forever. It's easier to bring something to life that has some sort of meaning.”
Tedesco's favourite piece she designed over the years, a marquise diamond ring with 18K white gold looping flourishes, reminiscent of her “L'infinita Ls,” housed within two rose gold bands set with round brilliant-cut diamonds, includes a key element that she holds close to her heart ““ her late mother's diamond, front row and centre. It's elements like these that breathe life into her work, making it stand out from the rest.

The value of this specific ring extends beyond the personal. In 2010, the piece won Tedesco the Canadian Excellence in Design award in the diamond category making it a truly significant creation.

This connection to sentimental value makes Tedesco a star when it comes to working on custom pieces. John Eleftheriou, Tedesco's husband and the man responsible for the business 3D imaging, photography and videography says it perfectly. “When a client comes in for a consultation with Laura, it's sort of like she's a medium,” he says. “The energy from that person goes into her and it just flows ““ she creates something so unique to that individual. When they receive their piece, 99.9 per cent of the time they're like “˜How did you know?' It's more of a feeling with her…she's the jewellery whisperer.”

It is this intuition, combined with a refined set of skills, and a passion for her work that makes Tedesco's pieces truly sparkle.

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