Birmingham jewellery artists, designers and curators are gearing up for a series of talks in January providing an insight into one of the city’s most celebrated trades.
Brilliantly Birmingham, the annual contemporary jewellery festival taking place until the end of February, is hosting the series of talks entitled Form to Function and Brilliantly Birmingham 1809.
The events will cover conversations with artists, designers and curators capturing the creativity behind their trade but also the history and professional practice that drives today’s jewellery industry.
Form to Function, which takes place on Saturday, January 9, at 2pm, will gather an impressive group of industry experts to explore the importance of creative decision making and identifying business options on the journey to becoming a creative practitioner.
The free seminar will provide advice on all aspects including how to combine creative integrity with commercial considerations as well as a chance for the audience to ask the experts any questions.
Speakers include V&A resident jeweller and professor at Edinburgh College of Art Dorothy Hogg MBE, along with Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden, founders of successful independent jewellery brand Tatty Devine.
There will also be discussions from local designer and Jewellery Quarter resident James Newman on how he employs age-old jewellery making techniques in combination with new technologies.
Susan McNally, project manager for Brilliantly Birmingham, said: “Brilliantly Birmingham is dedicated to supporting the development of new and emerging designer makers through showcasing their work, mentoring and connecting them directly to the market.
“We understand the value of giving new designers the opportunity to talk directly with and gain advice from more experienced designers at a crucial point in their practice.”
Continuing the series of talks Dr Sally Baggott, curator of The Birmingham Assay Office, will allow people to inspect original artefacts from the Private Silver Collection for the Brilliantly Birmingham 1809 event at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on January 14, 2.30pm to 4pm.
Exploring Birmingham’s worldwide contribution to the jewellery trade, Dr Baggott will explore the latest fashions and cutting edge techniques developed by the Birmingham jewellery industry since the early 19th century that continue to influence jewellers all over the world.
The talks are part of the Brilliantly Birmingham festival which is taking place at a variety of venues across the region until February 28.
Since its birth ten years ago when a group of local jewellery designers first came together to promote their work, the festival has grown into an international event attracting designer makers from across the globe.
The festival has its roots in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, a designated conservation area which employs around 4,000 people and is home to more than 80 contemporary designer makers, not to mention historic firms, that have been trading for hundreds of years.