meet nick hubbard

the story so far….


Nick Hubbard 
21st May 1955 - 17th August 2013

 

Nick Hubbard was born in Oxford in May, 1955.
His first home was a caravan and as space was limited Nick's first bed was in a drawer!

After moving several times the family settled in Nottinghamshire. Nick had a happy childhood and after winning a few handwriting competitions Nick was inspired to consider hand engraving as a career option. In 1972, Nick enrolled at Birmingham School of Jewellery.

 

After trying his hand at engraving Nick's path took a slight turn and Nick spent the next three years training to be a silversmith. It was whilst on this course that Nick met Jean a ‘true Yorkshire lass’ (he didn’t know it yet but Jean was later to become his wife!) From their first year of being together Nick and Jean began collecting comic-art related memorabilia. Whilst living together as poor students they once purchased a small Tom Philipps print ‘The flowers before the bench’ instead of paying the rent. Luckily Nick’s father stepped up with the cash to pay the rent that month.

In 1976 Nick proposed to Jean and after saying that she was ‘quite fond of him’ they were married. Two years later Nick and Jean set up their own business and Nick began his workshop from a small room in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter. Nick spent many years making tiny, moving and opening models and charms for the jewellery trade.









Nick and Jean had two daughters, Philippa and Elizabeth, in the late seventies and early eighties and Nick set up a workshop at home so that he could spend more time with his family. He divided his time
working from home and from his studio in the Jewellery Quarter.

 

A few years later there were another two additions to the Hubbard family – two miniature dachshunds ‘Little Lou’ and ‘Tess Bear’.


Eventually continuing his love of miniaturization Nick went on to produce his first jewellery collection in 1996 and the miniature world of Nick Hubbard Jewellery began! Being passionate collectors of all things small, Nick and Jean's home is full of cabinets of curios. These small treasures of bought and found objects provide inspiration for much of Nick's work along with his interest in literature, music, art and film.


On Saturday the 17th of August 2013, the bottom dropped out of our world.  Nick passed away suddenly but peacefully, in his sleep, beside his angel, his darling wife Jean.
Nick touched the lives of everyone he met; a tall man, a quiet man - a gentle man with a real interest in everything and everyone around him.  He was a brick – solid and dependable, he was the very foundations of his loving family and as described by his daughters – ‘he was perfect’. 

Nick was kind beyond words; he radiated such warmth and compassion that it could be felt on the darkest of days, from afar and even through a text or email.  Nick had large gentle hands – talented hands that could make the smallest of jewellery with the greatest of detail and always to an exceptional quality.  He had such passion and extraordinary talent and a life full of wonder.  Nick had so much wonder that he filled everyone’s lives with it too.

But Nick never knew just how exceptionally wonderful he was – we know this because he was the most modest man - completely unaware of the impact he had on us all.  He wanted for nothing; he had everything he needed, his wonderful family, his wee dogs, his sketchbook, his music and his workbench. He worked incredibly hard.  In one of his last emails he wrote ‘I am not making myself a rich man but a happy one!’  Nick saw the good in everyone and my goodness - he was gifted with words. 

Today we are without our Brick but Nick is everywhere we look.  His bench remains untouched and we are comforted and given strength as we are surrounded by his years of treasuring.  There are cards, postcards, photographs, magazine clippings, hand written notes, addressed envelopes, penned letters, small objects, rusty objects and stones from his walks with the dachshunds.  

Then of course there is Nicks work; work of a true craftsman.  Work of a skilful and passionate man, work with great meaning; a legacy of which we all draw great comfort. 

Nick loved his workshop and all that happened within its four walls, he was at his bench from early morning to early evening and when he was at home he could be found at his desk making cards for friends and family.  Nick had a passion to create, to design and to make and he encouraged this in all of us.  Every member of the Brick and Bean team started out at brick and bean towers as post jewellery graduates and together we make a good team.  Some team members have left during the years to go on to ventures new and some are now into their second b&b decade!
 
Nick and Jean had intended to have some family time and work a little less.  It was Nick’s intention for Brick and Bean Ltd to continue as a family business long after he’d retired (although we’re not sure whether we’d have let him!).

Even more so now - Jean, Nick’s daughters Philippa and Liz and ourselves feel the importance of continuing with the business in honour of Nick. 

 

Nick and Jean's daughters, Liz and Philippa
We welcome Philippa and Liz into part-time positions at Brick & Bean towers with the knowledge that their father would be very proud. 

Nick has left sketchbooks full of designs, ideas and we want the world to see them! Through these sketchbooks and through his family we have an insight into the magical world in which he lived.

Those not familiar with Nick's work will be amazed by the detail and intricacy of his unique designs; a figurative collection of oxidized silver pieces and charms bearing words and messages. Many pieces have moving parts and small doors that open to reveal fine gold detail. Nick's jewellery has become extremely collectable and can be easily identified as the original article by a small engraving of a ‘brick and bean’ on each piece of jewellery.


This logo is a play on words of Nick and his wife’s name ‘Nick and Jean’.

 

 

Today the Brick and Bean team work from the studio; an old bakery overlooking the Staffordshire countryside. It is a small family business run by Jean and her daughters; Philippa and Liz and with an extended family of dedicated jewellery graduates Mandy, Katie, Jenni and Helen who ensure that every piece is made to the highest quality and posted off on time.

 

The collection is sold in over 80 outlets throughout the U.K. and overseas, please see our stockists page.
A few pieces are available on this website to buy direct shop online.

Thank you for visiting!

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email: brickandbean@nickhubbardjewellery.co.uk