Our beautiful planet: Sustainability as subject and material in jewellery making

23 Feb 2023 · 6:00PM - 7:15PM
Pay what you can (Free, £3, £5 or £10)
Online (via Zoom), BST
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This panel discussion, chaired by curator and maker Joanne Hayward, will explore contemporary jewellery and making practices at the cutting edge of sustainable thinking.

Joanne will be joined in conversation by makers Melanie Eddy, Deborah Beck and Rachael Colley, whose work considers topics including recycling, material use, conscientious making and material innovation, as well as Karen Westland, Ethical Making Programme Manager at the Scottish Goldsmiths’ Trust.

There will be the opportunity to ask questions and join in the discussion

This event has been inspired by the Association for Contemporary Jewellery exhibition ‘Meanings & Messages’, which is on show in the Goldsmiths’ Centre Atrium until 24th February 2023. An associated catalogue is available for £5.

Image credit: Sha-green by Rachael Colley © Photographer: Simon B Armitt

Who are the speakers?

Deborah Beck creates environmentally conscious jewellery from her workshop in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. The daughter of a biologist, Deborah’s interest in the natural world was ignited at an early age. Following previous careers in TV drama production and as a personal trainer, her jewellery making journey began more recently. After studying for a Diploma, graduating with a distinction and a special award for creativity, Deborah now combines her environmental concerns with her silver and plastic-smithing skills to create sustainable wearable art, from recycled metals and discarded waste materials.

In 2021, Deborah was selected for Rising Stars at the New Ashgate Gallery and Getting Started Spotlighting at the Goldsmiths’ Centre. Deborah’s innovative work has been exhibited at galleries including Manchester City Art Gallery, Leeds Craft and Design Gallery and Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow. She recently held her first solo show at Globe Arts Studio, Huddersfield. Deborah regularly exhibits at contemporary crafts events around the country including Handmade Chelsea, GNCCF, Lustre, The Hepworth Gallery Makers Fair and Art & York, where she won the Jan and David Roberts’ Emerging Maker prize. Deborah’s jewellery has featured in the BBC dramas Death in Paradise, In the Club and London Kills.

Melanie Eddy creates sculptural jewellery that uses geometry as a tool to explore the relationship of form to the body. She is involved in jewellery trade from design and manufacture through critical writing, facilitating creative and professional development.

Melanie has collaborated with organisations such as the V&A and the British Council and works often in South Asia with organisations like Turquoise Mountain and the Aga Khan Foundation on jewellery training and business development initiatives. She teaches jewellery on the MA Design programme at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design.

Joanne Haywood is a mixed media art jeweller, educator and writer. She holds a BA (Hons) in Jewellery Design from Central Saint Martins. Her work incorporates both traditional jewellery, metalsmithing and textiles techniques alongside innovative and personal processes developed through years of material explorations and “playing”.

She established her own London studio in 2001 and a decade later moved to the Kentish countryside where her studio is surrounded by woodland, orchards and wildlife.

Alongside her own creative practice, she also supports the craft sector through her roles as - Education Manager at the Crafts Council and Exhibition and Events Manager at The ACJ

Karen Westland is the Ethical Making Programme Manager of The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust. Drawing from their experience as a silversmith and researcher for the role, Karen is responsible for all aspects of the Ethical Making Programme, including the Ethical Making Resource, annual symposium and Ethical Making Pledge with the Scottish art colleges.

A Sheffield based artist, Rachael Colley produces cutlery, jewellery and sculpture which are explored in experimental dining events, exhibitions, installations and visual art projects. Rachael’s lived experience, as a sufferer of the autoimmune disease Systemic Sclerosis, is reflected through her work. Rachael received a Goldsmiths’ Centre Career Catalyst Grant in 2021. Through the grant she trained and received mentoring from Master craftspeople from across Sheffield, helping her to develop her metalworking skills and create an ambitious new range of flatware and tableware.