Clean Cut

Philippa Roberts keeps it simple with everyday elegant jewelry design.


Photo by Lance Yamamoto

Philippa Roberts didn’t discover jewelry design until she was in college. As it turns out, it was her destiny.

“My great grandfather moved from Scotland to South Africa and started a watch-making business,” said Roberts, who moved from South Africa to the United States when she was 7 years old. It wasn’t until she took a metalsmithing class to fulfill a requirement for her art major that she fell in love with the craft. “I realized that this is in my blood. I ended up in the same place as my great grandfather.”

Roberts’ timeless designs are elegant pieces made for everyday wear. The inspiration she finds in architecture and interior design is evident in the clean lines in her creations. “I’m always looking for shapes everywhere. I might see a table leg or a chair and think … if I turned it upside down, it would make a beautiful earring,” Roberts said. She also cited the simple forms found in nature, which are sprinkled throughout her collections. “In nature, I will look at leaves, the shape of a petal. Those are desired shapes in jewelry,” she said. “They are just softer.”

Popular items include the three rings silver necklace ($146) in the Charm collection and the Dusk collection’s pebbles with labradorite and chalcedony bracelet ($515) featuring beautiful gray stones with a striking flash of blue. The Ocean collection’s open circle with chalcedony ($127) highlights Roberts’ signature simple shape and beautiful cool blue.

In the East Bay, customers can order online or visit the Philippa Roberts store on Piedmont Avenue, which houses Roberts’ workshop and retail space. She sells everything from handbags to housewares from fellow artists.

4176 Piedmont Ave., Oakland,,  510-655-0656


Published online on Dec. 15, 2016 at 8:00 a.m.

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