In its third edition, the annual Birmingham Jewellery Quarter Festival once again showcased the prowess of British craftsmanship within the jewellery industry. The three-day extravaganza brought together businesses, residents and the visitors to celebrate the vibrant Jewellery Quarter through engaging events and activities.
The Festival also saw studios open up to the public, inviting them to explore the world of local makers, designers and artists as they provide demonstrations of their practice and creative process. This year, the Jewellery Quarter Museum, which tells the story of the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage, collaborated with the British Academy of Jewellery Birmingham to create a live showcase of British Goldsmith talent.
Our BAJ Birmingham Tutors were the first Goldsmiths at the bench, displaying traditional jewellery techniques which they also teach at the Academy.
Sarah Arnold, who has taught at the Academy for the last four years, utilised the tools found within the museum to create a pair of sterling silver scalloped earrings. Previously Sarah has worked in industry as a designer to Harriet Kelsall, as well as teaching at the Birmingham School of Jewellery where she studied, and now has her own jewellery brand, Sarah Rose.
A new addition to the BAJ team, Miranda Sharpe sawed and pierced sterling silver silhouettes of organic shapes which would later be enamelled and engraved upon. Miranda joins us as an industry tutor with her own brand Miranda Sharpe Jewellery and has a background in 3D design, silversmithing and jewellery. She has also guest lectured for several years at institutions including Staffordshire University and the Birmingham School of Jewellery.
Talking about the collaboration, Sarah Arnold said that, “ With over 200 members of the public passing through the museum during the first two hours of opening alone, the live showcase at the bench was an excellent opportunity for us to engage with the curiosity of the public and educate them on the skills, techniques, and tools behind making as a jeweller. At the British Academy of Jewellery, one of our core focuses is to inspire and educate the next generation of jewellers, so it is paramount that events like this where the industry comes together in order to promote British craftsmanship and foster a network of support within the trade and academia to ensure the future of the industry”.
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