Graduates recently awarded Goldsmiths’ Company accolades at New Designers will unite with the rising stars from the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Foundation and Postgraduate Professional Design programmes and its Business Start-Up Studios in an exhibition of work setting the pace for the next generation of industry elite, which runs from 16 September – 30 November 2013.
From the leading charity for the professional training of goldsmiths, a new award will be donated by Adam Munthe. The Benvenuto Cellini Prize of £3,000 will enable an outstanding Goldsmiths’ Centre Foundation Programme trainee to enter a piece in the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council competition. “Cellini is one of the most inspirational goldsmiths of the 16th Century,” says Munthe. “He moved to Rome at nineteen, the age that many people start their apprenticeships today, where his work won the approval of Pope Clement VII, among others. I hope that this award will inspire young craftspeople of the 21st Century to design and make work to rival his.”
Jewellery and silversmithing stars, Theo Fennell, Stephen Webster, Joanna Hardy, Hector Miller, and Grant MacDonald have met to judge the Goldsmiths’ Centre awards. Theo Fennell’s phenomenal designs, including trophies for the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix have been making news since he started his world-renowned company in the Fulham Road, in 1982. Educated at Eton and the Byam Shaw School of Art he went on to learn his trade as an apprentice, and was grateful for the training he received whilst indentured to Edward Barnard, one of London’s oldest jewellery workshops. He has been an inspiration to many young designers including some of those taking part in Shine 2013.
“We’re still nurturing a huge range of talent in the UK” Fennell comments, “but we should nurture it more. The Goldsmiths’ Centre Foundation Programme provides a fantastic opportunity for young designers and makers to get their hands on the tools and techniques that will turn them into master craftspeople and get them into a rewarding career. We need more of these kinds of opportunities if we’re going to continue to lead in jewellery design.”
Goldsmiths’ Centre Postgraduate Professional Design programme alumnus and winner of the British Jeweller’s Association’s competition to design the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee brooch, Ivonna Poplanska, -agrees. “Doing a degree gave me the knowledge and approach to produce amazing jewellery but it was the Goldsmiths’ Centre programme that honed my business and design skills and gave me the time and space to put them to use. Now my design business is really taking off and I’ve got the confidence to take it as far as it can go. The young people who’ve started to learn their trade at the Centre have got a really firm foundation to move on from and are set to do apprenticeships with some of the very best; they couldn’t have done that without the support of the Centre, it’s a fantastic place to kick start your future.”
Ben Ryan and Rupert Todd, Professional Design programme alumni have taken a Starter Studio in the Centre to set up their own Business Start-up – living proof of how seamless the Goldsmiths’ Centre makes the transition from aspiring goldsmith to skilled practitioner. “The Centre is the only place I know where you can learn the basics, return to hone your skills and translate the whole lot into a successful business – all in the same supportive community.” Ryan explains. “With so many young people worrying whether they’ll end up in employment, after school or university, places like The Goldsmiths’ Centre offer a pragmatic solution,” adds Todd “I think it’s a real game-changer for the future of the goldsmiths’ craft in the UK.”
Shine 2013 runs from 16 September to 30 November 2013. The Goldsmiths’ Centre is also the Clerkenwell Design Quarter hub during the London Design Festival 14 – 21 September 2013.