Pride Month Student Spotlight: Zoe Peace (Girl 1000)

We’re excited to share the second instalment of our Pride Month Q+A series- today with BAJ Birmingham learner Zoe Peace (G1000 / Girl 1000 Jewellery). Zoe is an LGBTQ+ ally and designer for the Drag community, read on to find out more about this niche artistry, her journey into metalwork and more.

When did you realise you wanted to pursue Jewellery as a career?

Maybe like 2-3 years ago. I was quite content with polymer clay for a long time but suddenly felt this craving to see my designs in precious metal and knew it was my time to evolve as a maker.

How long have you been creating and designing jewellery?

I’ve been making for about 8 years now. The first year was spent turning anything I could into earrings, a lot of toy dinosaurs and other novelty bits and bobs but once I got my hands on polymer clay, I really started to have fun and became absolutely addicted to creating. 

A large part of your customer base seems to be from the Drag community – how did this come about?

I had been a fan of drag for a long time so I decided to reach out to a few artists that I was a fan of and offered to send them some of my pieces. I guess my name quickly got round and before I knew it, I was being commissioned by all of my favourite drag queens and it kind of just snowballed from there. 

What have you learnt whilst creating jewellery for drag artists?

How to keep a secret!! Sometimes I’ve had to make pieces for specific ‘events’ wink wink Drag Race, meaning I knew that queens were going to be on the show but was sworn to secrecy! It’s very cool being in the loop but the anticipation kills me! It’s also taught me how to be creative and conceptual in a professional design capacity – initial ideas, drawn designs, fabric/colour matching and deadlines. They come to me for my individual style and outlook and that’s taught me pride and to be myself always.

Do you have a drag icon you’d love to work with?

I’d love to work with all of them to be honest! I’m excited to see what the drag gods have in store for me in the future.

You have a very distinctive style – where do you draw inspiration from?

Everything really! But a lot of the time I am led by process so I never really know how a piece will turn out. It’s quite exciting! 

Do you have a favourite piece that you’ve made? If so, what makes it your favourite?

I love everything I make and if I don’t love it, I take it apart and try again until I do! If I had to choose though, there was one particular pair that I made around 5 years ago, that still to this day I regret selling. The piece ‘Sad Boy, Sad Girl’ and they were a huge and very haunting pair. I had spent weeks, maybe months making and collecting the right black and white mirrored pattern pieces for it. (rolling up scrap clay, cutting it in half and matching the patterns back together in a mirrored pattern) The images I saw in the pieces were very emotional so I themed the whole pair around that. They reminded me of something H.R Giger would have created and I really loved that, he’s one of my favourite artists.

As someone with a Jewellery brand, what drew you to join a course at BAJ?

After some research, I found the course at BAJ and it ticked every box for me and where else better to study than Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter! It was also important that the course I chose would be part time too so I was able to still continue to work on my business

What has been your favourite thing so far that you’ve learned on the Level 3 Diploma in Jewellery Design & Manufacturing course at BAJ?

I have loved the entire course so it’s hard to pick but I have really enjoyed the wax carving modules. I found it difficult to begin with and my first piece – the court ring – was absolutely horrendous but after fantastic guidance from my tutor, I think wax carving will become a huge part of my artistry in the future.

What do you see next for you, post-graduation?

I thought about applying for the Level 4 but commuting/moving to London just isn’t an option for me. I plan to carry on learning and evolving as an artist whether that’s through short courses or just independently. 

Do you have a dream customer – someone in particular that you’d love to see wearing G1000?

 Lady Miss Kier from the band Deee-Lite!!!!! She’s an absolute style icon!

What would your advice be to someone considering coming to the British Academy of Jewellery?

Try not to be disheartened if you’re not amazing at manufacturing or designing at first, keep trying and don’t give up! Also be a sponge, absorb every bit of knowledge you can from the tutors as I’ve found this to be the most valuable. They are highly experienced jewellers with tips and tricks for days! 

Juno Birch // (photographer unknown)
Laganja Estranja // Photography by Cash Danielsen

Naomi Smalls // Photography by Cash Danielsen

Chorizo May // Photography by Haydn Brown

Raja Gemini/Sutan Amrull // (Photographer unknown)

Shea Coulee // Photography by Adam Ouahmane

Blu Hydrangea // (Photographer unknown)

If you’re interested in joining BAJ’s Level 3 Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Diploma, click here, and to continue following Zoe’s jewellery journey, visit her Instagram here.

Subscribe to
our newsletter

Be the first to hear about competitions and giveaways, events, special offers and exclusive discounts, new course dates, and other updates from BAJ and its sister company Free2Learn.

[mc4wp_form id="1593"]

Request a Callback

Your data will be stored and processed in line with our Privacy Notice. For more information please visit our Privacy statement