The Caithness Way No. 9 – Patricia Niemann Design

Patricia is a qualified goldsmith and designer for gemstones, jewellery and studio glass. Her fabulous studio and showroom, in Caithness, is open to visitors if you fancy a look!  Also The River Bothy cafe is right beside her studio, be sure to pop in there  for a wee cake too!

Aquamarine Diamond Ring

Read more about Patricia….

Can you tell me a little about your business?

As a formally trained goldsmith, designer and glassmaker, my work spans across media, but the making of fine jewellery is at the core. Contemporary one-off and bespoke pieces are designed and handmade in my studio workshop in Berriedale, using over thirty years of trade experience. Unusual gemstones and pearls are worked into 18ct gold, silver, platinum and palladium, following my own designs or to customer commission.

What inspired you to start-up your business?

The realisation that trained professional goldsmiths are a rarity, especially in the Highlands, and that there seems to be a need for one locally. My customers now come from the

Taurus Pearl Neckpiece

whole of the UK – and beyond.


Has anything unusual or surprising happened while you’ve been in business?

The ‘Credit Crunch’. Amongst major effects on everyone, it also impacted the gold price and as such my business. The gold price never fully recovered, but my business has.

What makes your business special?

Experience, meticulousness, honed trade skills, a flair for design, timeless jewellery and a dedicated customer service.

What are the highlights of being a business based in Caithness?

Living and working in a stunning landscape near the sea and being surrounded by kind, generous and supportive people. You can’t beat it!

A chunky ring made with an Imperial Topas in Marquise (Navette) Cut, a Diamond (0.10ct TW/VS) and a matted hammered 18ct Gold shank.

Describe your business or product in 3 words?

Contemporary goldsmithing & design

What makes Caithness special to you?

The sea, the cliffs, the archaeology and – the people!

What, to you, is the Caithness Way? 

To me, it’s a ‘friendly and authentic’ way.

What is a normal day to you?

Every day is different, but my ideal ‘normal day’ is me working and making in the studio all day.

Where is your favourite place in Caithness and why?

That’s hard and keeps on changing. However, most of my favourite places seem to involve dramatic cliffs, beaches and remains of buildings. Outdoors I am happiest when climbing local cliffs with friends.

Bespoke engagement ring in Platinum with a Diamond in an unusual cut by Patricia Niemann

Does Caithness inspire your business?  

Absolutely. Caithness continuously inspires my work, for example in the form of lichens, limpets, crab and lobster fishing, gamekeeping, archaeology, bailing wrap blowing in the wind – and found objects as materials.

Share any exciting news you have for us!

A new website (it’s an exciting work in progress, at least to me) and new work based on red deer and their antlers – partially on a very large body-adornment scale, but also on a ‘normal’ jewellery scale. I did receive an award for this new work.


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