NEW ENTRY: JQ Open Studios Blog #11

From now until the 22nd July, Tina Francis will be exploring the various businesses who will open their doors in this year’s Jewellery Quarter Open Studios Trail. You can also follow the official @JQOpenStudios Twitter and join in the conversation with #JQOpenStudios. For further information about the Jewellery Quarter Festival 2016 please visit the webpage by clicking here.

Images from James Newman see the workshop makers on Sat 23rd
Images from James Newman. You can visit the workshop and meet the maker on Saturday 23rd July

12th July 2016 – Virtual Open Studios

So, Pokemon is on our streets! No longer the realm of gaming in your bedroom , Pokemon has gone outside encouraging you to visit new places and old places alike and find hidden treasures. Well that sounds a little bit like coming to the Jewellery Quarter over 23rd and 24th July and finding new and exciting makers, studios and designers. Unlike Pokemon (although we do have some hidden around here), we only have around 50 venues that are opening their doors for you to visit and collect! But some of the studios and workshops hold more than one maker or designer so a trip to these could add to your collection of knowledge.

Centrepiece on Pitsford Street will be opening on both Saturday and Sunday and will be host to 12 designer makers. Many of you will be familiar with this group of designer makers who exhibit at the Symphony Hall each year during the festive season. There will be a real party atmosphere in the courtyard with demonstrations, cake, coffee and the chance to speak to the makers about their current designs and future plans. With many of the makers being tutors in their trade why not find out about classes and how to get started as a maker? So with 12 different makers in the bag, where next?

Warstone Tattoo on Warstone Lane will be celebrating their first birthday in style on Saturday and Sunday by sharing their space with Jo Dark of Light and Dark Gallery and purveyors of the rare record Milque and Mule (Custard Factory), alongside their tattooing knowledge a visit to this venue will show how an art form can be translated across many mediums. Listen to some rare tunes, talk about your next ink and shop from the gallery this small venue will be sure to pack a serious punch. There will be no tattooing happening on either day so it will be great opportunity to learn about this craft.
If you thirst for more music and makers to add to your collection then a trip to 1000 Trades will be your next stop. On Saturday 1000 Trades plays host to Birmingham Independent Record Market where you will be able to learn about the independent lable scene, there are two other artists in residence over the weekend there too! The Emma Press is an independent poetry publisher dedicated to producing beautiful thought provoking books. Emma Wright’s aim is to create books that you will cherish as much for the words inside as for the fantastic illustrations she creates, the books are sized to be portable so you can dip in and out when you have a couple of minutes in your day. Emma will be available on Saturday and Sunday to talk publishing, letterpress and the results of her latest Open Call and maybe inspiring you to get out the pen and begin to write. Illustration continues in 1000 Trades with the work of Thomas Parry, this canal boat dwelling illustrator sees beauty tiny details asking you to look closer at the familiar buildings around us. See how many landmarks you can spot in his large illustration of Birmingham and maybe how many are left in this ever changing City.
Whilst there is still light in the day how about continuing you collection with a visit a studio studios which will see you “bag” 3 designer makers at a new studio for this years trail? Off to Spencer Street where at 85 Spencer Street you will be able to see the fantastic designs of three makers, Roxanna Moznabi, Juliet Low and Jordan Herry. It’s amazing to see how three people making in such close proximity produce completely different work, Roxannas work continues the theme we have looked at in these blogs that jewellery becomes a precious treasure passed down through generations with the story being as important as the piece itself, Persian designs form the basis of her work. Capturing time is also important to Juliet Low who uses tools that have changed little over the centuries to echo the natural world. A different world is inhabited by Jordan Herry who in habits the world of the gothic and the biker, currently working on his own brand be sure to see his work from the beginning.
So a visit to 4 venues will have seen you collect over 20 designer makers, next time we will be looking at street by street collecting starting with St Paul’s square and scalectrix!

To view previous blog entries please visit the official Open Studios Trail 2016 page by clicking here. For more about JQ Festival 16 please click the banner below:

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