NEW ENTRY: JQ Open Studios Blog #5

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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.

Makers and shakers image

22nd June 2016 – Makers &  Shakers

Speak to any designer maker about their week and you will be surprised to find out just how much time is spent actually making work; the percentage of time will be a lot smaller than you think. In order to be able to make more we have to sell what we have already made, which means leaving the comfort of our workshops and venturing into the outside world! Today we are going to look at four makers who have been busy exhibiting at shows this year.

Whist the view from Becca Williams’ studio is of city roof tops, the inspiration for her silver jewellery and silverware comes from the coastal landscape. Since opening her studio last year her work has been on sale in John Lewis at Grand Central as well as being available in many galleries and shops around the UK. Her most recent retail show was at RHS Malvern Spring and Gardening Festival in May and you will have also seen her work at MAC Christmas Markets. As well as retail shows there are many large trade shows throughout the year. Becca also exhibited at CRAFT at Top Drawer earlier this year.

Sticking with trade shows the biggest and brashest of them all in the UK is Spring Fair (and now Autumn Fair) held at the NEC, if you cannot find it here it may not exist!  Julia Ann Davenport had a showcase there this year exhibiting her delicate and intricate jewellery which can be seen in her collection Wishbone. Julia shares a studio with Rhiannon Lewis who as well as exhibiting throughout the year has had her work for sale at John Lewis at Grand Central. A trained gemmologist, Gemma’s work incorporates the finest of stones all sympathetically captured in her graphic style.

A strong sense of line and balance is also employed by our last maker in this blog. Gosia Weber crafts leather goods from discarded, scrap and off-cut materials including leather and upholstery fabrics because of this the products are often one of a kind. A regular at local Craft fairs here in Birmingham, her latest show was at The Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracy in Devon. This high end Craft show is a great place to visit and maybe you will be able to catch a glimpse of the coast and be inspired, just like Becca Williams!

But hold on there! You do not need to go to any of these fairs because on 23/24th July these makers and many more will be opening their workshop doors and inviting you in to “see what they do!”

In the next blog we will be looking at art, fine and urban alike.

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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