26th June 2014

Here’s to the Hare!




The hare has always been a much loved character here at Nick Hubbard Jewellery. We love its graceful lines, elegant movement and intriguing nature. The hare has made an appearance on many a piece over the years. Our ‘Running Hare’ brooch is still a firm favourite amongst our customers and our new ‘Magical Hare’ ring has been getting a similarly enthusiastic response (thank you!).



NHR7 magical hare ring slim 2 72

Katie, jewellery maker extraordinaire at Brick and Bean Towers, has just noticed that her trusty tools also feature the distinctive form! The very tools that have helped us create our faithful friend over the years have been carrying a hare logo all along and we’ve only just noticed.

katie at work



It seems the hare is very much in vogue at the moment. It has become a striking, classic image that we can’t get enough of on our jewellery, ceramics and soft furnishings. This week I found myself buying a hand printed card and a small watercolour for my daughter’s nursery featuring this countryside favourite.

The Brick and Bean team have come to associate the image of the hare with wit and wisdom and think our trusty friend looks ever so stylish rendered in silver and gold.

NHB11 hare of good fortune brooch

‘Hare of good fortune’ brooch with Citrine, Amethyst, Peridot and Blue Agate stones with their properties linked to success, protection, healing and happiness.




We know that many of you pick Nick Hubbard jewellery featuring a hare, so what is it about this colourful character that has such enduring appeal for you?

We’d love to hear why you love the hare and what your favourite hare-related Nick Hubbard pieces are… and if you’re stuck for ideas,  here are three pieces of jewellery featuring the hare NEW to our website!

here's to the hare!

Happy Thursday!

Philippa x

Posted in: brick & bean towers by Mandy @ 1:07 pm

20th May 2014

Behind the Sketchbook Collection……


nick wearing draw more t-shirt

My dad, Nick, loved to draw. His humble call to arms was to ‘draw more’! As a prolific sketcher, barely an evening passed without him toiling away at his desk producing little illustrated wonders. Those productive evenings resulted in new jewellery designs and sketches inspired by the people, places or events of the day. The upshot of this dedicated drive to draw is an immense archive of work; many sketchbooks and files jam packed with an array of beautiful illustrations and words in dad’s distinctive style.

nicks sketch books

Since dad’s untimely passing we have been trawling his sketchbooks as both a form of remembrance and reflection and as a way to commemorate and continue his creative legacy. While the sketchbooks have become family treasures they also serve as repositories of designs waiting to be transformed from 2D drawings into 3D objects. It is from these drawing books that the new Sketchbook Collection is born. The first release is a set of collectable charms to be worn or kept as miniature keepsakes. These silver charms, lovingly handcrafted by the Brick and Bean team, not only celebrate dad’s fine craftsmanship but also the imaginative flair and humour that has come to characterise all Nick Hubbard jewellery. As a further nod to dad’s attention to detail each charm is affectionately named. We hope charming characters such as ‘Draw More’, ‘Bear with Me’ and ‘Clockwork Mouse’ delight and entertain!

the sketchbook charms on card

‘waving not drowning’ and ‘walking to happiness’ silver charms from the sketchbook collection

the sketchbook charms on card 2

posted by Philippa x

Posted in: brick & bean towers by Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 2:40 pm

19th May 2014

Hello friends, its been a while…

To mark the release of the new Sketchbook Collection, we at Brick and Bean Towers are resurrecting the Nick Hubbard Jewellery blog!
6 charms
Yes, we know, it’s been a while since we posted but we now endeavour to be diligent reporters of Brick and Bean news and post on a regular basis!
The blog also marks moving forward as a team dedicated to keeping dad’s fine work and immense creativity going.
nick at work with filters
My sister Liz and I are enjoying working with the fab Brick and Bean team, eager to participate and support wherever we can while caring for our sweet babes, Sebastian 10 months and Alice 4 months. We have always been staunch supporters of dad’s work and big fans of Nick Hubbard Jewellery.
Over the years we’ve been guinea pigs for trying out new designs, reviewed new pieces with dad and helped out at trade fairs, so hopefully we’ve earned our stripes!
Liz and Philippa

philippa and liz

It’s been a busy and exciting few weeks preparing for the release of the Sketchbook Collection, discussing ideas for our new website, and reviewing designs for our forthcoming collection (coming soon!) We look forward to sharing our journey with you.
Philippa x
philippa and liz

Posted in: brick & bean towers by admin @ 2:13 pm

2nd August 2012

What a difference a year makes!

They say time flies when you’re having fun and we must be having plenty as we cannot believe that it has been a year since our last confession… I mean blog! Back in July last year we had the wonderful arrival of Nick and Jean’s newest addition Spangle (a wire haired sausage dog) who accompanied them on their return from Ludlow.


Introducing Spangle

She has settled in very nicely and is the very best of friends with Treacle, Nick and Jean’s other Dachshund. They are a little duo of happiness in the workshop with their wagging tails and like nothing more than to seize the opportunity of getting on a free lap! Although it seems that we have very different ideas as to what constitutes as a ‘free’ lap compared with the views of our four legged friends.

'Room for a little one?  Errr, no not really, I'm trying to make some jewellery, but how can I say no?@
‘Room for a little one? Errr, no not really, I’m trying to make some jewellery, but how can I say no?’


The ‘Brick and Bean’ extended family is ever growing as Jenni (who lends us her talented hands at our busiest times) had a beautiful little girl Seren back in August.

Seren and the extended brick & bean family
Seren and the extended brick & bean family

In between celebrations Nick and Jean and the ‘brick and bean’ team were hard at it trekking down to London for the International Jewellery trade show and then straight back in the studio completing exhibition jewellery for the Dazzle exhibitions in Manchester and London.

nick-at-ijl1Hello Nick


Whilst trade shows are notoriously tiring events, they do give us the chance to unveil the new designs and for us to catch up with many of our lovely stockists.

Hello Anna and Chris at Iapetus Gallery!
Hello Anna and Chris at Iapetus Gallery!


They also give us the opportunity to meet and form new working relationships with retailers that would like to stock Nick’s jewellery.

In the Autumn Nick added new pieces to the retail collection and we were thrilled to be invited to join the successful online marketplace Not on the High Street. We were becoming stretched at the busiest time of year and were therefore, very grateful when Nick and Jean’s friend Aya came to visit from Japan. She is a jeweller herself and offered to give us a much needed helping hand to complete the show Christmas orders and the orders generated by NOTHS.

hello Aya, come and visit us again soon!
hello Aya, come and visit us again soon!


After the wedding of their eldest daughter Philippa to her husband Dave earlier last year Nick and Jean prepared a second time for their youngest daughter Liz’s wedding to her husband Scott just after Christmas. Both weddings were of course memorable, touching and elegant and we wish them all a lifetime of love and happiness together!

Congratulations Philippa and Dave x

Congratulations Liz and Scott x
Congratulations Liz and Scott x



the 'father of the bride' speech

the 'father of the bride' speech

Straight into the New Year and Nick was back at the bench, (no rest for a busy jeweller) designing 11 new pieces for the first of his trade shows during the year. A busy and exciting Birmingham show set a faced pace working regime for Katie and Helen here in the workshop as the orders came in thick and fast.

Our Katie and Helen x
Our Katie and Helen x

Straight from the orders it was quickly onto making jewellery for the Dazzle exhibition in Glasgow and Nick began designing a 2 new mini sculptures to exhibit with Iapetus in an exhibition to mark the Queens Jubilee.

'Hurrying Bird comes to tea'
‘Hurrying Bird comes to tea’
'Very Important Penguin'
‘Very Important Penguin’


Wedding bells were once again in the air this year for Katie and her husband Adrian who were married in April with Helen performing bridesmaid duties! We said goodbye to Katie Mitchell….. and hello to Mrs Stone which we think is a very apt name for that of a jeweller!

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Stone
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Stone x


All work and no play makes for a dull life so here are a few evenings out that Nick and Jean have enjoyed. Visiting the National Theatre Warwick they have been to see two showings of Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle. In the first play the monster was played by Jonny Lee Miller and Frankenstein played by Benedict Cumberbatch and in the second viewing the roles reversed. Jean informed us that Jonny Lee Miller makes the better monster or did she say that he was the better looker??? Nick and Jean were also honoured to be invited to the 70th birthday party of Gary Walker from the Walker brothers. Nick has also spent a little extra time in Norfolk with his dear parents…..

pa ma1


Mr and Mrs Hubbard (and Hannah)

Time in the workshop is moving along quickly as we gear up for Dazzle at Edinburgh and….dare we say it …..Christmas!  We have been fortunate to have had the company of Amy and Zoe for a couple of weeks whilst on work experience and we wish them well in their route to their chosen professions.







Jean is busy producing her traditional silver charms and is currently hooked on watching ‘Cash Cabs’ – a game show hosted in the back of a real taxi. If you are new to this phenomenal TV quiz, you must tune in to channel 38 Quest and take a peak, it really is something else!



Jean and Treacle ‘hard at work!’



During the year along with everything that we have mentioned, Nick is continually working on commissions for clients (we don’t know how he ever manages any time away from the bench – actually he doesn’t have much!) Nick really enjoys every aspect of making a bespoke piece of jewellery; from the initial contact with the client and hearing the thoughtful ways that gifts have been thought up or put together, often for a surprise. “Every commission is excitingly unique and for the period of time I am creating a specially made piece, I am lucky to have a little insight into the lives of kind people with heart-warming stories, it’s extremely touching!” We can certainly clarify that Nick has created several unique designs during the year.


One of Nick’s most memorable commissions - a locket in which to house two clippings of cat fur!
One of Nick’s most memorable commissions – a locket in which to house two clippings of cat fur!


'There's no place like home' locket commission
‘There’s no place like home’ locket commission

You may be ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ as to what designs are next for Nick Hubbard Jewellery. We think the clue is in the title but Nick is very secretive whilst he is in the early design stage and anything can change.


Nick keeping his designs close to the bench!
Nick keeping his designs close to the bench!


What we can certainly promise you is that Nick, Jean and the B &B team will be back down to London for the trade show at the beginning of September with plenty of new designs, available from our delightful stockists towards the end of the year.

Along with trying to make some website improvements we are also working hard to add some new items to the online collection soon so watch this space. As you can see, we all work very hard, there are no idle thumbs here….. unless it’s elevenses, we always make time for Tunnocks and Tea!



The weather has been somewhat soggy with what has felt like endless rain clouds at times but we are happy to report that the sun always shines inside’ Brick and Bean’ towers as we continue to enjoy making what is dear to our hearts and keeping a good sense of humour. We are also blessed with kind and happy remarks and comments from our friends and for this we thank you all!



P.s. ………

If you’re wondering about the UFO sighting…….if you are ever on the A454 heading from Ludlow to Bridgnorth with no other car insight, keep a look out for lights in the sky! All in a day of the lives of Brick and Bean!


Posted in: brick & bean towers by Tags: , , , — Mandy @ 12:54 pm

19th July 2011

Our date with History!


Jean and I were honoured to be invited to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend of ours – British author and historian Alison Weir.  We were fortunate for our paths to cross many years ago through Jeans and Alison’s interest in the Walker Brothers and we have remained good friends since.

As we will soon be gearing up for Christmas orders and shows, Jean and I decided that this would be the ideal time for us to incorporate a few days away.  So after bidding farewell to our loyal dog sitter and dachshund Treacle, we set off for Hever in Kent.  Our first stop was Alison and her husband Rankins house for tea and to deliver some paintings which we had collected for them from Ludlow.

Jean and I joined the National Trust on the first day of our break and we spent our time away visiting several properties in the area – it was great with both of us enjoying the domestic settings of the more ordinary houses. 

Our first visit was Chartwell – Churchill’s home.  It was charming and lovely even though it was really busy.  Churchill was quite a painter and the artwork in his house is plentiful.  What was most exciting for us was an Edward Ardizzone drawing of a scene from the house of commons – Jean and I are big fans!  The gardens were wonderful; rolling down to a lake and a walled vegetable garden.  Some of the Allium heads were as big as footballs and like sputnik spaceships!   In the afternoon we visited Quebec house in the village of Westerham.  This was the childhood home of General James Wolfe.  It was fascinating.  A wall had been uncovered in a bedroom dating back to the 1630’s but the property had been given to the National Trust on the condition that it remained in the period of when James Wolfe lived there.


On Friday morning Jean and I drove round in circles for nearly 1 ½ hours looking for Emmetts garden.  Jean was navigator and had me driving up and down awful single track country lanes and when we eventually arrived it was closed!  However, there was a silver lining to this tale – it had meant that whilst we were in the car we were staying dry avoiding the pouring rain!

So back we went to Chartwell for tea and cake.  Next it was on to Hever Castle for Alisons’ birthday celebrations.  Alison chose Hever Castle as the venue as it was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, tragic queen of King Henry VIII.  It was a delight to meet all of Alisons’ friends and family and after introductions we met for afternoon tea in the music room.  We had a wonder around the gardens and an exciting tour around the castle. 

We met for dinner in the grand hall of the castle and among the guests were the ‘History Girls’ and Gary Walker and his wife Barbara.  We had a lovely five course dinner and enjoyed watching Alison bravely open her gifts in front of everybody.  We stayed in Hever Castle that night and in the morning after saying goodbye to everyone at breakfast we took another stroll around the gardens. 

Next it was on to Knole and then Ightham Mote.  Ightham Mote is a fabulous English country domestic house with a courtyard in the middle, a charming wooded glade and a moat all around.  In the afternoon we ventured to Sissinghurst to stay in a lovely B&B and took a trip to Sissinghurst castle.  This was a beautiful property; the home of Harold Nicholson  and Vita Sackville-West.  We climbed the Elizabethan tower where Vita Sackville-West wrote and it was just as she had left it.  The gardens were wonderful.


Later we visited the charming village of Smallhythe and the home of the Victorian actress Ellen Terry. 

Realising that we were not too far from the home of Tony and Christine (creators and organisers of DAZZLE exhibitions) we dropped in on them.  We enjoyed a meal together and then back to their house to view their wonderful collection of art objects and collections.


We had a delightful few days away which left us feeling revived and refreshed and ready for the busyness of jewellery making that lies ahead!  Both Jean and I can thoroughly recommend joining the National Trust; there are some truly delightful properties and gardens to discover.  We can also recommend the love of a four legged friend – there’s nothing nicer to come home to!


posted by Nick Hubbard




Posted in: brick & bean towers by admin @ 3:38 pm

12th July 2011

giddy london!

A few weeks ago Jean and I headed off to London for the day to see ‘Cocteau voices’ at the Linbury Studio Theatre in the Royal Opera house.  Scott Walker composed the music for this performance and as many of you know, Jean is very fond of  Scotts’ work.   We took the train to Euston and on our arrival our first stop was buying an umbrella and sheltering from the rain we took a short stroll to the Wellcome Collection.  It is a huge building with lots of space and it’s  a lovely place to go if you’re in need of a little bit of peace, tranquility and calm.  There is a lovely bookshop and cafe where we stopped for lunch.  The current exhibition is ‘Dirt’ which runs until August 31st ; a real must see if you’re in the area.  As we hadn’t planned to visit we really didn’t do the exhibition justice and we could have easily spent 2 or 3 hours there.  The early microscope was fascinating and there were lots of beautiful engravings connected with ‘Dirt’ especially cures and remedies of cholera and bacteria.   Running short of time we took a taxi to the Royal Academy ‘Summer exhibition’ where there is always a little bit of something for everyone! We were particularly fond of the wood cuts and lino cuts.

Thankfully the weather was kinder to us as we walked to Covent Garden to find somewhere to eat.  We chose an Italian restaurant.   Unfortunately the meal was disappointing; I had a soggy pizza and Jean had a seafood dish that didn’t taste of anything.  We won’t name and shame but Jean gave it a low score of 3 out of 10!

‘Cocteau voices’ had some really nice little things going on.  It was Avant-garde dance and during the performance a dancer danced inside the projection of a giant mouth which was really cleverly done.  Jean said that the best thing about the performance was Scotts music which she says ‘he never ceases to surprise it was quite menacing at times; very exhilarating’ but Jean also admits to being extremely biased!  Scotts’ music has altered a lot since the days of the Walker Brothers.

Then there was an unscheduled interval and the next performance was an operatic middle aged woman having a conversation on a telephone.  It wasn’t too bad for the first 20 minutes but then it just became quite irritating – especially as we’d been told that the show would finish and 9.30pm.  Once panic had set in about missing our return train we took the opportunity to leave and a sweet girl from Singapore followed our lead.  We made our train with minutes to spare and discovered we’d booked onto the train that stops at all stations meaning that we returned late for a school night.   A good time was had by all (even Treacle who spent the day with Fifi at our daughter Liz’s) and Jean’s score for Scott – well 10 out of 10 of course!

Posted by Nick Hubbard

Posted in: brick & bean towers by admin @ 12:31 pm

25th June 2009

brick and bean go to Ludlow!

Last weekend Jean and I took a trip out to our favourite haunt – Ludlow.  We had been invited to an exhibition of work by ruralists; Ann and Graham Arnold at the Silk Top Hat Gallery.  We were late to set off which is often the case when we go away, although this time it wasn’t because of last minute ironing and packing or our dogs running madly around our feet!  As it was Fathers Day, our girls Philippa and Lizzie had organised a lovely family cooked breakfast before our departure.  What a wonderful start to the day!


We arrived in time for the lunchtime preview and although it was a drizzly day the exhibition was bustling.  We were excited to see the exhibition which runs until 18th July 2009.


In the afternoon we visited the antique and flea market where we bought a delightful little miniature of a soldier from the First World War.  Jean bought amongst other things a wind up robot and an ‘I’d love a Babycham’ sign. 





We managed to book on laterooms to stay the night at Feathers, Ludlow’s oldest hotel.  Its Jacobean timber façade was built in 1619 and it has recently been described in the New York Times as ‘the most handsome inn in the world’.   For dinner we popped into Ego Café Bar for a lasagne and whilst there met a lovely gentleman who wanted to buy a brooch that Jean was wearing.


Due to our love of Ludlow, we are on the mailing list for the Ludlow Assembly rooms and in the evening we went along to watch Bronson.  It was a brilliantly acted part about inner rage rescued in part by the discovery of the joys of drawing.


On Monday morning we did a small tour of the charity shops; Jean bought three tops and I found ‘Vox’ a short book by Nicholson Baker.


By late afternoon we were once again back at the jewellery bench!




 Posted by Nick Hubbard





Posted in: out and about by admin @ 3:00 pm

24th June 2009

birthday greetings hot off the email!!!


We thought we’d share this delightful card that Nick’s daughter Philippa drew him for his birthday.  She was over in the States and had only a biro and a selection of colouring pencils to hand.  With Nicks birthday looming she had only hours to create this little masterpiece of the Hubbard sausage dogs and ‘Grand’dog Fifi.  Needless to say, Nick was over the moon with his emailed birthday greeting!!!

Posted in: brick & bean towers by Mandy @ 1:49 pm

17th June 2009

Nick Hubbard Jewellery rocks the media!!!

If you watched any television on Wednesday 3rd June you cannot have failed to have seen Nick’s ‘Rocking the Boat’ brooch. It made an appearance on all of the news channels and on Thursday it was featured in the national press, modelled by Hazel Blears; she seems to have made a statement without uttering a word!

This humorous, tongue-in-cheek piece was designed by Nick to be ambiguous so that the wearer can put their own spin on it.

 'Rocking the Boat' brooch

 Well it’s been a very exciting time here at the Brick and Bean studio, Nick has been interviewed for Times online and we also had the TV crew here filming Nick for ITV Central news, did you see it ? We’ve gotten through several cups of tea and Tunnocks chocolate bars!!!

 The Brick and Bean team would like to thank everyone for their wonderful kind messages of interest and support!








Posted in: brick & bean towers by Mandy @ 2:50 pm

15th June 2009

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our new blog! We look forward to letting you know what the Brick & Bean team are up to and we hope to hear from you with all of your comments and suggestions.

Well it’s certainly been an interesting week in the Brick & Bean studio! Who would have thought that contemporary jewellery would cause such controversy with Nicks ‘rocking the brooch’ making national headline news??? One of Nick and Jeans friends called them last Wednesday to let them know that Hazel Blears had resigned wearing Nicks brooch and that all the news channels were running the story. By the time the ‘rocking the boat’ had been featured on BBC Newsnight it was making Nick feel ‘a bit funny’ (for those of you who have met Nick you will know that he is an extremely modest man.) We must say that Nick was such a good sport because by Friday he had been interviewed for Times Online, filmed for an appearance on ITV Central News and photographed for an article in the Express and Star! All of the attention made him feel most uncomfortable but us girls found the whole thing most exciting!
We know that Nick has quite a few celebrity clients and we’re wondering whether anyone else has been spotted wearing Nicks Jewellery? Do let us know.
We’d also like to create our very own wall of fame and put faces to the names of our lovely customers, so if you would like to appear on our website, please send us a picture of yourself wearing your favourite piece of Nick Hubbard jewellery and watch this space!!!

Posted in: brick & bean towers by Mandy @ 1:30 pm