I’m a jewellery designer maker.
But what does that actually mean? Well, I design, make and sell my own work. Which means I’m self-employed, have my own jewellery workshop, and spend a lot of time trying to come up with new designs and find new customers! When you don’t have the power of a large brand or shop behind you, it can be difficult getting your work out to the public.
As I’ve already said, there are a lot of different jewellery making techniques, and this is the arsenal of a jewellery designer maker. The trick then is to come up with a design, and using those techniques, create something which catches the eye and imagination of people who may want to buy it.
Once you’ve made your collection, great! But what next? Well, I sell my work through galleries across the UK, and through craft fairs. I love meeting customers at craft fairs and being able to tell them all about the jewellery, what is was inspired by and how it was made. So I would recommend visiting craft fairs - and I don’t just mean the one at your local village hall! There are some large events which bring together some fantastic designer makers in one event, for example one of the best jewellery and silversmithing fairs is Goldsmiths Fair, held annually in the magnificent setting of Goldsmiths Hall in London and hosting the top jewellers and silversmiths around today. There is a vast army of skilled craftspeople who work for themselves in the UK, who are making beautifully crafted, unique, well-designed work and who are very often undiscovered talents. The more people who are aware of the craft industries, and visit and buy quality work from designer makers, the more we can bring about a resurgence of British crafts and encourage these hand skills to be passed on to future generations.
Of course, I’m not just talking about jewellery. There are many more crafts. Ceramics, wood, glass, textiles, homeware, fashion...the list goes on. But designer makers are important. They create diverse, original, quality work and are waving the flag for craftspeople everywhere!
|Large Torus Brooch by Emily Richard Jewellery, Sterling silver, oxidised with burnished edges|