MI6 caught up with renowned British jeweller Theo
Fennell to talk about his special edition of
Theo Fennell Interview
16th September 2008
To mark the publication in paperback of Charlie
fourth ‘Young Bond’ book, Hurricane
a solid silver 24-carat gold-plated book from
renowned British jeweller Theo Fennell. The unique, stunning
gold book takes pride of place in the Imperial War Museum’s
sell-out exhibition "For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and
James Bond", and forms an integral part of a special ‘Young
Bond’ trail within the exhibition. MI6 caught up with Theo
Fennell to talk about his work on Hurricane Gold...
When were you approached to work on the
Young Bond project and how did the idea come about?
About six months ago, maybe a bit more like a year ago, when Hurricane
Gold was first coming out and we were asked if we wanted to do it. I said
it was such a great idea. It was just great to get involved. It’s the
kind of thing that is very uplifting and more fun than your normal trophy or
silver object. It was really the publishers who realised that the book was
going to be metallic and look like a gold block. They had the idea to get in
touch with us, because we’re well known for doing unusual objects in
silver and gold. They got in touch, we loved the idea and it just went from
What was the difference between creating this piece to
some of your regular works?
Well I think that with any piece like this it has to be perfect. The bigger the
flat polished surface, the more difficult it is. To get
a really crisp finish like a book – where everything is absolutely flat
and geometric – it’s always very tough to get it really, really good.
It’s just one of those things, because you’re using hands rather
than machinery to make it. Interestingly with silver, often what looks simple
is what is most difficult. When one’s doing something like a book it’s
much tougher than a round piece or an animal or something that has a lot of surfaces
Above: The gold book is unveiled
by author Charlie Higson and creator Theo Fennell at the "For
Your Eyes Only" exhibition.
How long did it take to create?
From start to finish; around about five months. There’s a lot of work involved,
a lot of people involved. It has to be absolutely right. Each time you get to
a certain level, you need different help and the client’s “OK”.
It’s a long and painstaking process.
How did the process work and how often did you have to check-in
with the clients?
In this case, we didn’t need to get too much approval because they are
aware of our work. They’ve seen our work before so they know we’re
going to get it right. There are various stages that you want to make sure the
surface is right, that the colour is right; that the logos and technical bits
Above: The gold book
at different stages of creation
Were there any other technical difficulties in the sense of
design and logistics?
Not really, it’s just that with a book like that the hinge
has to be perfect or it can look terrible. It needs to be very,
very crisp. Anything that is hinged like that, with a piano hinge,
needs to be really well done so that you don’t see the
Did you get to see Charlie Higson’s
to see everything! I’ll have to kill you if I tell
you what it says. Absolutely no hints!
Were you aware of the Bond
celebrations this year and what did you think of the Imperial
War Museum exhibit?
Well I love the Imperial War Museum anyway. It’s just
one of my favourite museums. It’s a fantastic exhibition – I
just love all that kind of stuff. I think to mix up reality and
fantasy in that way is just very engaging. I loved it!
Above: Charlie Higson and Theo
Fennell and the gold book
On the whole, how did you feel about your involvement in the
Hurricane Gold Project?
We love doing work like that – it makes life that much more fun and it’s
great to see that kind of thing giving a bit of publicity to the craftsmen who
normally don’t get any kind of coverage. It’s nice to see their work
in lights, as it were.