Shine bright like a diamond

Thanks to everyone who visited us yesterday. We are up and raring to go this morning from 11am. There’s lots of sparkling highlights so get yourself a cup of tea and plan your day.

Arriving by train or tram? Then your first port of call is Rhiannon Lewis Jewellery at venue number 11. Up the stairs above RJs hairdressers. Move on next to Venue 12 The Little Workshop and Venue 13 B18 Leather for some unique handcrafted wares. Move on to venue 10 Katherine Campbell Legg to see a traditional jewellers workshop.

Our next cluster of venues begins just up from the Clock, Venue 7 sees work from Charlotte Lowe and Spearworks Jewellery, the entrance is on Vittoria Street, over the road is The School of Jewellery having its student Open Day. First left down Vittoria Street will see you arrive at venue 8 Tina Francis Tapestry.

Continuing down Regent Place brings you to Caroline Street where you can see contemporary jewellery and sculpture at venue 2 With Anna Lorenz and venue 1 holds beautiful organic jewellery with Dovile and EAN Jewellery. Dual Works on Kenyon Street is next with their great show room.

A short 4 minute walk takes you to Odox gallery venue number 5 where you can see artists and exhibitions, finally back over the road to learn about ceramics with Pavlov Ceramics at venue 6.

Get your steps in and enjoy your Sunday. There is a downloadable map on this site and paper copies at all venues.

Be great to see you!

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Ready and waiting

We’ve tidied our workshops, we’ve got the kettle on, we’ve made all the stock, we’re ready for you!!!

There’s designer makers from many different trades. Qualified gemologists, experts in Keum Boo, a publishing press, a potter, fabricators, textile artists and much more.

Come see what we do, the map is downloadable plus there are some at each venue.
Most venues are open on 23 and 24 with the exception of Crafty Bun Studio Venue 3 – Saturday only and Venue 14 School of Jewellery St Paul’s Square – Sunday only

See you soon

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Fired Earth

So we are at the last of our maker introductions for this winter Jewellery Quarter Open Studios. Over the next three days we will be plotting routes for your visit but today let’s turn our minds to the cathartic qualities of clay.

Pavlov Ceramics quietly sits at the entrance to Warstone Lane on Hill Street. After climbing a steep set of stairs you will be welcomed into an oasis of calm where glazes bring clay to life. The work here celebrates the materiality of clay through colour and texture in functional pieces made to be enjoyed daily.

You can buy these pieces or make your own on one of the courses run from this fantastic workshop. Whilst the work has a minimal quality the pieces you make or buy from this studio will have a maximal impact of your day to day life.

The workshop is open on 23 and 24 November.

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Lost Texture

Makers of deconstructed jewellery. Martina is a designer maker behind SolvandKopper. After years of exploring various methods in jewellery making Martina is focussing on creating unique edgy silver pieces using the lost wax method. Find out about this technique and the fantastic effects it can make when you visit on 23/24 November.

Silver is the perfect metal for this technique as the textures added give the pieces an organic look against the Shiney surface. The latest earring collection is both wearable and different providing an interesting addition to your Jewellery wardrobe.

Popping up at B18 Leather because we believe that Craft Builds Community.

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Collage City

Currently gracing billboards around the City and beyond the collage of work of Gibson Graphics is bringing a stylish campaign to the ever glamorous Mailbox this season. Whilst the images are large if you look closely you will see that each piece of the collage is carefully researched and even more carefully placed to create a stunning visual.

Considered research is key to the creation of the exciting collage work that has been exhibited around the country this year. Balance and humour also play a part.

Its not all about large scale though, the original collages are meticulously cut by hand and then digitally manipulated or left as the original. A member of the exclusive Collage Club you can see regular work from Barabara Gibson-Kochanek confined by the boundaries of the remit but never ever staying within the lines.

Come along to Tina Francis Tapestry (venue 8) on 23/24 November to see some of the latest collage prints and to discuss a commission you may have in mind.

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Skirting the edge

Odox provide affordable studio spaces, supporting the development of emerging and more established practitioners.
“Within our welcoming community, we promote diverse, ambitious and cross-disciplinary practice, focused on contemporary art and design.”

Alongside the studios, they offer workshops, connect artists with local businesses, hold events, talks and exhibitions, and contribute to the growing contemporary art scene in Birmingham. 

With so much going on it’s great to see them working with Zoe Robertson from Dual Works on their latest exhibition, Jims is a site specific installation has been created to engage audiences by offering an immersive experience which has been designed to enable participants to physically interact with and “wear” the space.

You need to book ahead for Jims are there is a 4 person maximum timed entry here’s the link but you can visit the rest of gallery without booking.

open 23/24 November the gallery is just 4 minutes away from Dual Works and Pavlov Ceramics

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Aiming High

Mountains, skiing and tradition are some of the influences used by The Little Workshop to create affordable silver jewellery.

“In the early morning before the sun has had a chance to rise above the beautiful peaks, the snow has this glistening, shimmering light that is crisp and sparkly.” The textured pendants in the collection perfectly reflect this special light.

Handmade, using traditional jewellery techniques and tools, passed down from generation to generation whilst The Little Workshopp is one of the newest members of the Jewellery Quarter Open Studios family they are certainly already telling the story of their art.

A love of the the mountains is also reflected in the studio location which is on the top floor, be prepared for steep stairs but just like climbing up a snowy peak once you get there the view is fabulous.

Open 23/24 November 11-16

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Resident Gems

Its been a busy year for Rhiannon Lewis who has completed a masters in business at BCU alongside running her jewellery practice.

Rhiannon designs and hand makes all of her jewellery from her own studio and workshop. Working predominantly in gold and silver, Rhiannon uses bold recurring forms of arcs, curves and teardrop shapes, creating striking and elegant jewellery. A qualified gemmologist Rhiannon incorporates the highest quality gemstones in her jewellery, using various cuts to reflect the graphic lines featured in her designs. Each piece is made to the highest standard with the precious metals treated to a matte surface finish.

Rhiannon is currently artist in residence at The School of Jewellery based at Birmingham Assay Office bringing her skills and knowledge to the students based there alongside continuing her practice.

Visit Rhiannon on 23/24 November to see her latest collections, talk gems or commission a piece of fine jewellery with considered stones.

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One ring to rule them all

Whilst many designer makers work alone in their workshops the way they were trained is quite different. The School of Jewellery has been training jewellers since 1890. Originally set up by the trade itself to create additional training it has remained on the same site in Vittoria Street since then. But if you look closely at the map you will see that this time for Jewellery Quarter Open Studio there are two sites. Yes “the school” as we know it around here is now in two buildings in the Jewellery Quarter.

The School of Jewellery is part of Birmingham City University and they have an open day in 24th November this ties in well with Jewellery Quarter Open Studios (we planned it!). On 24th at the new St Paul’s site you will be able to learn about the postgraduate offer whilst being part of their opening ceremony. Open from 11am there will be speeches at 3pm and an official opening event. It’s really an exciting time to see the school expand and to hear first hand about their ambitions for the future.

The original site in Vittoria Street with its traditional Birmingham red brick facade holds a warren of making spaces. Whether your interests lie in horology, fine jewellery or enamel there is something to view and learn. As well as taking part in the BCU open day on 24th this space will also be open on 23rd with demonstrations, workshops and the chance to see the building from the inside, it’s quite different to what you would expect!!

Many of the designer makers in the Jewellery Quarter started their career at the school so a visit to see the biggest open studio of them all is a must!

Vittoria Street open 23/24 , St Paul’s open 24th only

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Controlled heat

Chloe Minihane Slater of Spearworks Jewellery trained in the UK and Cyprus. Inspired by structure and organic forms co-existing balance.

Her signature reticulation techniques, geometric patterns and pyramid shapes highlight this tipping point in a contemporary fashion. Reticulation in jewellery making is a heat based technique that creates ripples and ridges across the surface of the silver. Working with a flame and a natural material means that sometimes the results can be unpredictable its this knowledge and how to articulate the effects that gives the jewellery its flowing but yet controlled edge.

The addition of exquisite pearls, amethyst and jade creates a full stop in the textured silver landscape. Truly beautiful accessible pieces.

Chloe states that ‘The enjoyment of handmade is one that I always cherish’ and a visit to the studio on 23 and 24th November will provide you with an insight into the techniques she uses and how pattern and shape informs her practice.

The studio is listed as having an address on Warstone Lane but the entrance is on Vittoria Street just up from The School of Jewellery. The workshop will be clearly marked, Spearworks shares the space with Charlotte Lowe who we featured earlier in our blogs.

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Do you Keum-boo?

Sometimes less is more, a change in texture, a change in metal can give jewellery a considered effect. The process of Keum-boo (an ancient Korean gilding technique) employed by Katherine Campbell-Legg Does just that.

Considered processes create jewellery that doesn’t shout but almost demands a closer look. Texture and different finishes create further interest. It’s interesting to watch Katherine work as the placement of gold seems to be intuitive gaining the best from the metals.

A founding member of Centrepiece Katherine has helped and supported many designer makers over the years, as well as teaching at The School of Jewellery. During the summer Open Studios event Katherine invited Artists in Residence from the School of Jewellery to exhibit in her traditional jewellery workshop, a great opportunity and very generous to those early career makers.

A great way to see a designer maker who has made a career of process and practice whilst supporting others.

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A Stitch in Time

Tina Francis Tapestry

Working with stitch gives you a different perspective on time, Tina Francis measures her days in inches not hours. Using second hand wool in her stitched work Tina continues the history of those that used the wool before her.

Unable to blend colours like a painter Tina relies on resonance to bring depth to her work. Colours that maybe have no place together soon fall into line when part of a larger design.

Tapestry needlepoint kits are where Tinas heart lies, bold bright design with a touch of 1970S caravan mean that these kits look great in today’s modern homes. Over the last year Tina has been writing a book on Bargello stitching and so many of her new kits and designs use this fast growing long stitch.

Tina believes that “craft builds community” and so runs workshops to share her skill from her Jewellery Quarter studio, a beautiful space where the warmth comes from the people as within it as much as the colour that surrounds it.

Open 23/24 November entrance is on the junction between Vittoria Street and Regent Place.

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Circling Architecture

JAD Jewellery

After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University, Julia returned to the Midlands to set up her business in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter.

Julia hand makes delicate contemporary jewellery, finished to a high quality. Taking Inspiration from the surrounding architecture Julia creates elegant forms by layering curved lines perfect for holding precious gemstones. Julia’s new collection shows varying combinations of circle clusters, set with precious gemstones to inject colour and sparkle in to the jewellery.   We really love the glow that stones give to this new collection.

Julia also offers a bespoke service, working closely with customers to create personal one-off pieces. This is often a special gift for a loved one, engagement rings and bridal jewellery.

As well as opening up her studio for Jewellery Quarter Open Studios Julia will also be exhibiting with Centrepiece at their annual winter show, this year the show takes place in The Rep whilst the Symphony Hall undergoes building work in the foyer.

New collection
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Environmental Elements

Elizabeth Ann Norris Jewellery

After a 16 year career in environmental science Elizabeth Ann Norris decided to follow a passion for design and train as a jeweller. The influences of their former career can be seen in the shapes and textures found in the silver pieces that won Lux Life magazine best eco jewellery brand in 2018.

Luxury in the everyday is something that Elizabeth Ann looks to put into every piece of jewellery “My jewellery aims to bring an ‘everyday extravagance’ to the wearer.“

As well as continuing to create wearable nature inspired pieces Elizabeth Ann also runs one to one jewellery making workshops in the Jewellery Quarter. Traditional skills using traditional tools and techniques means that students Gain a well rounded experience with skills that will last a lifetime.

Visit Elizabeth Ann Jewellery in the workshop space behind Artisan Alchemy on 23 and 24 November to see and learn how multiple careers can create beautiful results

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Natural Flow

The passing of time and the marks that it makes whether on wood, in a flower bud or on our faces is what informs the practice of Dovilė Jewellery. Celebrating the changes that come only with time be it in seconds, days or years means noticing details that we can often miss.

Using the dark ebony appearance of bog oak and combining this with the golden glow of amber gives each piece a natural flowing conversation. Hard versus soft, dark versus light.

In 2019 Dovilė’s work has been exhibited in China, Lithuania and here in the U.K. its fun to think of these pieces adding to their own timelines as they move around the globe.

A visit to their workshop space at the back of Artisan Alchemy will show the process behind the materials which whilst informed by them needs a skilled artisan to bring them back to life. Also on show will be the new Silver Flow collection that echoes the shapes and forms of the bog oak and somehow “holds the pose“.

Open on 23rd and 24th on Caroline Street

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Forward Together

Dual Works

Dual Works are highly skilled designer makers who have over 50 years of combined expertise across a wide range of materials, techniques and processes. They enjoy the making process from the initial idea through to the production and installation of a wide variety of design projects. Their workshop bursts with colour and energy and makes every idea seem possible.

Over the last year they have continued to deliver their “Girls with Power Tools” workshops which provide skills, knowledge and yes power to the participants. It’s this skill sharing that makes working with Dual Works so exciting.

Collaborating with Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and Touch Base Pears this year Dual Works created a fantastic array of articulated pieces that enabled people to make sense of the space around them and communicate. A commission at The Memorial Arboretum sees their work as a back drop to a heartfelt exhibition. They have even found time to create a mobile hair salon! We are just scratching the surface of their output this year so do ask them about commissions whilst you are there.

With lots more on display than we can list in this short introduction, over the Jewellery Quarter Open Studios weekend you will also be able to see a collection of beautifully handcrafted products for the home, made on site in their workshop. Quality materials, bright colours and attention to detail mean that these pieces fit in any home.

True supporters of the Jewellery Quarter and its many artisans be sure to visit this workshop on Kenyon Street.

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Sentimental Journey

Charlotte Lowe

Charlotte Lowe’s collections of handmade jewellery celebrate today’s special moments with the memories that will always matter. Inspired by the joys brought to us through the simple moments in life, Charlotte’s uniquely styled silhouette designs depict precious memories shared with family and friends to evoke sentimental feelings from within.

Celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year a new collection called “Moments like this” brings a collection of precious moments under beautiful blue skies.

The beauty of the process used by Charlotte means that you can commission your own favourite moments to be captured from photo image to jewellery. A real way to carry those you hold dear around with you always.

So a big congratulations to Charlotte Lowe who will be opening her studio for the first time With us on 23/24 November 11-16. Take a visit and create your own special memory.

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Fine Craft Skill Share

Down a secret alley way that leads to Key Hill Cemetary you will find the workshop of B18 Leather maker of small fine leather goods with innovative surface designs. The workshop is the perfect place for you to see how different creative trades are as much at home in the Jewellery Quarter as the more traditional metal ones. Infact their own words express it perfectly.

“For me traceability is paramount – each piece I produce has a visual narrative. You will see its journey from raw cut pieces through to the finished article. Most of the designs are made in house in the Jewellery Quarter with some pieces made in Walsall, West Midlands – the heart of the leather industry in the UK. I have built relationships with manufacturers that I treasure – just like a precious gem.”

Education is at the heart of what owner Deborette is all about, in the workshop you can learn how to create leather goods on one of the many short courses that take place throughout the year. There’s nothing better than a handmade heartfelt gift and the bonus of learning a new skill along the way. Many people return again and again to improve their skills.

New this year at the workshop is Hockley Made an initiative run by Deborette which enables young people to design, create and sell Craft products. Costing your time is really important when setting up any business and for makers this can often be one of the hardest aspects so with Hockley Made Deborette is sharing the ability to run a business alongside learning and feeling pride in the products you have made.

Hear more about the story behind each aspect of B18 leathers journey and buy into it with a fantastic small leather good on 23 and 24th November

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From the earth

Run by Michele White, Artisan Alchemy Gallery seeks to combine the best in fine furniture and fine jewellery. An antidote to mass production both the furniture and jewellery use elements of the natural world to both enhance and direct.

But why would a jeweller with over thirty years experience in the trade think that furniture would be a good fit for Caroline Street? You need look no further than the Artisan Alchemy logo which is a ginko leaf, chosen by Michele because of her love of trees. There is a synergy between the natural landscape of picture agates and the wood grains in the bespoke furniture on display. An early career as a ceramics teacher also shows its influences in her work. There’s something quite interesting about using materials from the earth on display here.

Michele has played an active part in the Jewellery Quarter community over the years, being part of Centrepiece a jewellery collective formed in 1997 to create opportunities for designer makers in the Jewellery Quarter to showcase their work. A member of Royal Birmingham Society of Artists she was also president of the Society for a number of years. The collective side of her nature continues today at Artisan Alchemy in the workshop spaces and shared benches at the back of the gallery which has enabled designer makers to run their own businesses from the heart of the Jewellery Quarter. Current residents Dovile Jewellery and Elizabeth Anne Norris will be opening their workspaces during Jewellery Quarter Open Studios weekend.

Artisan Alchemy will be open on Saturday and Sunday.

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We have a story to tell

Now that all the summer and autumn Open Studios events around Birmingham have successfully come to an end, its time for us to begin telling you our story and inviting you to “come see what we do”.

The 23rd and 24th November will see over 15 makers open their studio and workshop doors to show you that here in the Jewellery Quarter we continue to uphold the makers traditions that have led to this special part of Birmingham being at the centre of Jewellery making, manufacturing and education for over 200 years. Whilst the jewellery trade is still strong we also have many skilled craftspeople building the community with textiles, leather, fabrication, ceramics and more.

Alongside established Jewellery Quarter Open Studios members we also have a good selection of new makers for you to visit. It’s really exciting to welcome Charlotte Lowe (pictured) who celebrate their 10th year in the trade this year alongside Spearworks Jewellery who shares the space. Brand new to the Jewellery Quarter is The Little Workshop who will be setting up both their website (to follow) and workshop ready for the event.

Collaboration and support go hand in hand in this part of the city and you will find many makers sharing their spaces to spread the community that little bit further (also it is quite cold at this time of year!). Holly O’Meara from CraftyBun Studios will be setting up to demonstrate all things print at No.Peg.Studio a new workshopping space. Artisan Alchemy supports makers with workbenches and studios and two makers will be exhibiting their work here Dovile Jewellery and Elizabeth Ann Norris they both have fascinating stories to tell about their work and their Craft careers. Katherine Campbell Legge , a founding member of Centrepiece which has helped many jewellers and designer makers over the years, will be exhibiting her own work in her traditional jewellers workshop. Also in a traditional space Rhiannon Lewis will be joining us again.

Using our hands to tell a story is something we do a lot being skilled artisans, see how this translates into products at Pavlov Ceramics and Dual Works and how these skills can be shared in community projects with Tina Francis Tapestry and B18 Leather. B18 leather will also host Solv and Kopper and you will be able to hear about Hockley Made a young people into employment initiative.

New to the Summer Open Studios Odox have continued to host fantastic exhibitions the latest is collaboration between Zoe Robertson and Rebecca Coley called JIMS (jewellery in my space). We have Jewellery in all spaces here in the jewellery due in no small way to The School of Jewellery being at our heart, they will be running their biannual open day on 23rd November so you can visit the biggest open studio of them all!

Phew! Be sure to watch the website and blog over the coming weeks to get to really know our designers, makers and creators.

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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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