Chloe May Lightfoot

“I am proud to be a woman who has been made a member as part of the trade through my 5 year apprenticeship. It took an awful lot of hard work to get to my masterpiece at the end of my apprenticeship. Being awarded Freedom of the Company was very special for me.”

Freeman, Chloe May Lightfoot


I attended the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s foundation programme in 2014/15. I initially thought I wanted to be a silversmith but as the year went on I enjoyed making fine jewellery more and more.

I went on to complete my apprenticeship at E. Wolfe & Company in Hatton Garden. Established in 1850, it is one of the oldest jewellers in London and is well known for making royal tiaras and crowns. At the end of my apprenticeship I had to make a masterpiece in order to become a Freeman and was lucky enough to be able to make a tiara based on a design from 1903. It was platinum set with 22 carats of diamonds, and could be worn as a tiara, necklace, earrings and a brooch. 

Once I had finished my apprenticeship I was awarded a grant by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to go travelling around Europe visiting jewellers, exhibitions and museums; learning as much as I could to bring back to the UK and share with other people in the trade. I went to Russia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France. I even stayed in Paris working full time at a jewellery atelier making a necklace that was allocated 400 hours to make! 

The training and nurturing of young people in the trade through the Goldsmiths' Centre and the Goldsmiths' Company via apprenticeships is, in my opinion, the most important thing the Company does today. It is so important to keep the old skills and traditions of the trade and the Company alive, and without all the support they provide this would not happen. I was lucky to do both and felt like I had every opportunity at my fingertips. 

When the pandemic struck I had to leave my job in Paris. Coming home I was unsure what to do next. I always wanted to set up my own jewellery business so I thought I should just go for it! I set up Chloe May Jewellery in May 2020.

Winning a gold award and the junior award in the Goldsmiths' Craft & Design Council Awards for a rose brooch handmade in platinum is one of my biggest achievements. I was a third year apprentice and felt very proud of myself for winning such a prestigious award in the trade.