Helium, Beryllium and Nitrogen and Oxygen

Or so the song goes about the periodic table which lists all the elements, but what about the ones that have been discovered since the song was written? Actually we don’t have time to dwell on this because the weekend is nearly upon us when we open or workshop and studio doors and invite you to “come see what we do”.

Makers, artists, designers and small manufacturers make up our table of participants this time, you can see them all here and to stop you walking around like a stray atom we have a downloadable map with amendments here plus if you only have time to visit a few studios you little free radical we have grouped the studios together in handy bite sized pieces check it out here

So there we are we can’t do anymore than assure you that you will receive a warm welcome at each of our studios and that we will be in our element (that’s enough now!) showing you what we do and why we remain a community of makers in the City of 1000 Trades.

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June 29th – 30th – we’re back!

Hi there! It’s great to be back bringing you news of all the makers, artists and small manufacturers that are taking part in our first Jewellery Quarter Open Studios of 2019. This year we are again running alongside Jewellery Quarter Festival so along with visiting us to see making from the contemporary to the heritage there will also be lots of other activities happening around the Jewellery Quarter on 29th and 30th June.

You’ll see from the logo that we have changed our colours to tie in to Jewellery Quarter Festival so do please look out for their advertising campaign that will begin in earnest on 1st June.

We’ve got some fantastic makers on the trail this time and we are pleased to see many new faces joining us. Two new additions, Pavlov Ceramics and Odox are just a few minutes walk away from each other so if “new” is you then be sure to start your trail here.

The map will be published by the end of the week on this site and will be downloadable but for now take a look at the makers listed on the site for a flavour of what we have to offer here in the Jewellery Quarter where we remain “a community of makers”.

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21 key to the door

Down Vyse Street you can find many a jewellery and designer maker, when you buy a handmade piece of jewellery it may well have been made by many hands. Setters, polishers, carvers, designers and many more trades go into creating stunning work. James Newman on Vyse Street has built up a team of great craftspeople since starting James Newman Jewellery in 1998.

Provenance of components and traceability of stones is extremely important to James and you can see some really unusual stones as well as the more traditional ones right here safe in the knowledge that each stones history is known. Talking of history James Newman will also take stones from your own jewellery or inherited pieces and work with you to create something really special.

There’s lots to see and learn in this shop with workshop at the back, whilst it may be small the work created there is always interesting with stones that seem as big as the universe when you look inside them. If the shop is full during Open Studios you may be asked to come back a little later to see the workshop so that people get to see as much as possible.

Open on the Saturday only this time and number 11 on the map make your way down to this unique shop where pieces are made from the heart and by the skills of many.

Art Leather

Blurring the boundary between making and art B18 Leather run by Deborette Clarke creates fantastic small leather goods with thought to each component and the resulting finish.

Inspired by the movement of Jackson Pollocks work the Jackson range is one of studied uniqueness. Whilst the shapes of the bi-fold wallets may be the same the paint splashes and edge painting make every piece standout. The vegetable tanned leather will gain its own patina over time further adding to its charm.

You can also learn how to make small leather goods in this studio with workshops ranging from beginner to advanced, many people come back again and again to finesse their skills. Regular workshops at the Leather Museum and Black Country Living Museum mean that Deborette is sharing those skills further afield.

A visit to this studio hidden down a historic alleyway off Hylton Street will not disappoint!

In the beginning

We launched the Jewellery Quarter Festival Guide last night and as Jewellery Quarter Open Studios runs alongside the festival this year we are part of the programme, so be sure to pick up a guide real soon.

JQ Open Studios participants turned up to support the launch and one that has links to many of the workshops that will be opening on 29/30th June, namely The School of Jewellery. Founded in 1890 the red brick façade hides a contemporary world renowned school that provides courses in jewellery design, horology, silversmithing, gemmology and lots more in between. Many of the makers you will encounter over the festival weekend will have started their careers and training right here.

Part of the Faculty of Art, Design and Media at Birmingham City University the skills taught here mean that graduates can go on to work for famous names in the trade or set up on their own and begin to create fantastic collections and inspiring designs.

The School will be open on Saturday 29th June exhibiting alumnis work, running regular demonstrations in their on site workshops and as this is also the date of their Student Open Day they will be welcoming potential students. If a visit to the School inspires you to start your making career or sparks an idea to retrain staff will also be providing information about their night school courses which are run on site.

The Schools Design for Industry course provides practical skills alongside new technologies, at Artfull Expression you will be able to see just how many makers have completed this course and are now successfully working as professional jewellers.

Look out for posters around the school showing the Open Studios that have links either as teaching staff, previous students or current working relationships. A visit to the School is not to be missed !

Two to Tango

A visit to Dual Works in Kenyon Street always took you into a magical world where anything and everything seemed possible, having worked on many projects in 2018/2019 they have also managed to complete their new showroom. The showroom is a fantastic space not only to see their latest designs and products from the quarter.haus range but also to discuss new collaborations.

They are currently working on a collaborative commission with Sense a charity that supports people who have complex disabilities, including deafblindness, to communicate and experience the world and Swoomptheeng a Birmingham based audio visual collective, making a sensory sculpture the Sense community to enjoy at TouchBase Pears here in Birmingham.

Regular workshops continue to be part of their offer with many a person now completely competent in power tools because of them.

Dual Works are designer makers Steve Snell and Zoe Robertson. You can see Zoe Robertson in the current edition of Craft Magazine which looks at craft as performance

Hit me with those laser beams

Since graduating from The Birmingham School of Jewellery in 2016 Abbie Gaiger has gone from strength to strength. Her dip dyed acrylic jewellery combines high end jewellery skills with new technologies.

2018 was an extremely busy year for Abbie as she moved into her new studio on Vyse Street, exhibited in London, Newcastle and Birmingham rounding off the year with a successful exhibit at Dazzle. But that’s not all, she also opened Slice Laser Studio which provides a creative, personal laser cutting engraving service. See Abbie her bright pink laser and maybe commission some pieces at venue 1 on the map 29/30 June.

The Art of make up

Its amazing the breadth of skills that our Jewellery Quarter Open Studios participants have. Today we are looking at Alyn Waterman Makeup and Hair Studio who has a fantastic space on Vyse Street with an ever changing window display. It’s change that people often go to the studio for, a change of look, a change of style, everyone is met with the same level of respect no matter whether its for advice or for a whole look for a big day.

Alyn has over 25 years experience in the industry and along with his professional team the aim is to make you feel like a star.

If it is stars that you after then take a look at the website for the people he regularly works with and see his TV and Film experience. But it’s not all about the glamour (!) Alyn is a firm believer in sharing his skills and educating the next generation of make up and hair artists.

Today we are continuing to look at makers who are opening their studios to a whole community rather than just exhibiting their own work. Katherine Campbell-Legg is a founding member of Centrepiece, a designer maker cooperative created in 1997 to exhibit and champion the work of jewellery designer makers in the Jewellery Quarter.

This year like many others Katherine is welcoming Centrepiece members to exhibit alongside 3 current Artists in Residence from the Birmingham School of Jewellery.

Katherines own work will also be on display and she will be demonstrating her own work for which she uses the Korean technique of Keum Boo. The other makers and artists in the workshop for all or part of the weekend are Isabella Hart, Julia Ann Davenport, Anne Bracey, Tilly Cope, Vanessa Miller and additional members of Centrepiece.

Wow what a lot of talent all in one space! Number 3 on the map (map coming soon!!)

Makers and Shakers

Welcome to The JQ Set!

Every day between now and the festival we will be bringing you our workshop of the day. We will find out about the maker that owns it and what they have planned for Jewellery Quarter Open Studios 29/30th June.

But in first two posts we will be looking at makers who really believe that “craft builds community”, as they share their spaces and their knowledge with others.

Firstly lets take a look at The JQ Set who are huge advocates for the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. Number 7 on the map the ethos of passing on skills is alive and well in this fantastic space.

Here’s why they are where they are “This vibrant area houses residents, offers some of the best food and drink establishments in Birmingham, provides a base for some amazingly creative businesses, alongside manufacturing 40% of British-made jewellery, and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the shops. So why would we be situated anywhere else!

 Being located right in the midst of the JQ is central to our values – being surrounded by skilled craftspeople hidden away at the back of the shops and up steep stairs of the beautiful brick buildings – we want to peel back the layers of secrecy and teach people what is made in this creative area of Birmingham.

We want to offer easy-access, skills-based jewellery making courses for students who want to do more in their spare time, and it’s incredibly important to us to be running these courses in an area which has such a deep-rooted history of jewellery making.”

Alongside being able to see Pippa (the owner) demonstrating during the Saturday and Sunday you will also meet Jordan Herry, Daisy Grice, Wabi Mokume and Jemma Bowers. So a real community of makers building their businesses through supporting each other.

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