The Goldsmiths’ Company has recently chosen silversmith, Jennifer Grey, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, to be the recipient of its first Royal College of Art Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded as part of the Company’s on-going support for the Craft and Industry.
The Company has enjoyed a long relationship with the Royal College of Art and for more than 10 years has provided a bursary for a promising silversmithing student at the College to assist them with working in precious materials and alleviate the financial burden this can cause during their postgraduate studies. This latest initiative of providing a scholarship is building on and enhancing the existing bursary scheme.
Peter Taylor, Director of Technology and Training, said: “The Company is constantly striving to improve its support for excellence in craftsmanship and design and it recognises that today’s students have to cope with many burdens during their studies – particularly financial ones. The Company’s new Royal College of Art Scholarship is designed to alleviate any such burdens by providing one Royal College of Art postgraduate student with not only financial help but also mentoring support over the two years of their course.”
As such Jennifer Grey has to date been granted £2,000 to help with living costs, a £2,000 precious metal bursary and the Royal College has received a cheque for £2,500 to go towards her tuition fees.
The criteria for this new scholarship are that it “be awarded to an individual who demonstrates outstanding practical ability and potential in craftsmanship and design and needs financial support during their time at the Royal College of Art”. In addition the selection panel were looking for an outstanding silversmith with an ambition to pursue their craft to the highest level and a commitment to a career in the industry. The successful candidate also had to have a proven track record of excellence in design, technical awareness and manufacturing processes.
Karin Paynter, of the Goldsmiths’ Company’s Technology and Training Department, who developed the scholarship programme together with the Royal College’s Head of Department of Applied Arts (Department of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery) Professor Hans Stofer and Senior Tutor Michael Rowe said: “Jennifer was chosen as she is clearly very talented, not only as a designer but she is also fully aware of all the technical processes required to be a master silversmith”. The selection panel comprised Karin Paynter, Peter Taylor, silversmith Richard Fox and Professor Gerald Whiles.
Throughout the two year course there will be regular progress assessments and a constant two-way interaction between the Company and Jennifer. Aside from the financial support that the scholarship provides, Jennifer will be given focused mentoring and assistance in the form of introductions and invitations to Company functions, as well as technical and hallmarking support from the Company. In return she will be encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered to her and finally at the end of the two year course, she will be invited to report back on her experience and share any interesting technical findings by means of a talk and or an article in the Company’s Technical Bulletin.
The Goldsmiths’ Company Royal College of Art Scholarship will be awarded every two years.