Behind the Scenes: Dog Jewellery Commissions

On the journey to school my daughter and I always loved dog spotting and chatting about the different breeds and what type of dog we’d like to have one day. I love animals and have a special soft spot for dogs. I keep some dog treats on the desk in my Tunbridge Wells jewellery shop and have always welcomed canine visitors (and their humans!) to my shop. In fact, when I first created my Instagram page for my jewellery business I would share pictures of the doggy visitors to my shop as well as the jewellery I was making (there’s even a blog on the dogs who visited my shop here). We now have our own dog, an Airedale Terrier called Rolo, who’s my work companion. Over the last year or so I’ve made three pieces of bespoke jewellery all inspired by owner’s dogs, so I thought I’d share the stories of those pup jewellery commissions with you here.

Bespoke Dog Charm

Eliska the golden retriever

I first met Dagmar and her dog Eliska in around 2018, when they came into my shop to see my jewellery and we chatted about dogs. Dagmar bought a couple of pairs of my earrings. When I got our dog Rolo Dagmar visited regularly to see us both. Rolo has been in the shop since he was a tiny pup. I make sure he always has a long walk at the start of the day, so by the time we get to the shop he’s ready for a nap. He likes to sleep in the window so he can also keep watch for passers-by.

Catherine Hills Airedale dog Rolo

One of the great joys I have found of having my own shop is meeting wonderful people that walk in. Dagmar has become a friend and Rolo absolutely adores her - and not just because she brings him dog treats!

Last year Dagmar bought one of my Textured Sweetie Bracelets and then commissioned me to make a charm with the letter E to represent Eliska her dog. If you look closely the centre of the E has been detailed with a portrait of Eliska.

Catherine Hills Jewellery commission - Letter E pendant

You can discover my range of charms (that can be worn on a chain or bracelet) here.

Bespoke Dog Portrait Pendant

Catherine Hills Jewellery golden retriever portrait sketchbook

I’ve just made a pendant necklace for Dagmar, which was also in honour of her dog Eliska, and inspired this blog. Dagmar saw a locket I’d made for another customer which was filled with seeds and loved it. She wanted me to adapt the design to include a miniature portrait of her dog. It was daunting and challenging to paint a dog in miniature so I took it as an opportunity to visit my dear friend and artist Sophia Langmead and work alongside her in her beautiful Primrose Hill studio in London. Sophia took these pictures of me as I worked.

Catherine Hills at work painting dog portrait

I was pleasantly surprised with the end result and Dagmar said: ‘you’ve captured her exactly how I love her, smiling with her head slightly to one side’.

Catherie Hills Jewellery commission dog portrait pendant

The finished pendant reminds me of Victorian period jewellery but also looks modern and unique. One of the things that’s so special about creating unique jewellery is the memories and stories that it captures, which can be treasured for years to come.

Catherine Hills Jewellery commission dog portrait pendant

Whippet Necklace 

This necklace was a special birthday gift for my customer’s whippet-loving wife. Their whippet sometimes visits my shop and he’s so quiet and gentle.

Catherine Hills Jewellery Whippent Necklace

It was wonderful to create this beautiful breed's shape and form in silver as they are so distinctive. With my customer’s permission I’ve added this design to my collection so if there are other whippet lovers out there you can find out more via the link below.

Catherine Hills Jewellery Whippet necklace


If you have a jewellery commission, jewellery repair or jewellery remodelling you would like to discuss you can email me here or visit my Tunbridge Wells Jewellery shop which is open each week from Thursday to Saturday or by appointment. You can find the opening hours and directions here.