November has been a good month for me. Not only has my shed arrived (I’m one step closer to having a real studio once the electrics, insulation, flooring and a billion other things have been done) but I received two bits of exciting news.
Firstly, I submitted a design into the Make Your Mark competition, held by the London Assay Office (www.assayofficelondon.co.uk/events/make-your-mark-awards-2016)
“There will be two Award categories: Jewellery and Silversmithing, and entry will be open to current students, apprentices and young, recently graduated, designers (within the last three years) of precious-metal-related jewellery and silversmithing courses. Prizes will be awarded to the most artistically convincing design, model or finished piece in which precious metal is used with prominence, and where a London hallmark is part of the design.”
I entered my design of a golf ball marker – yes I have no idea what it is used for either but apparently all golfers do and I had made a feature out of the hallmark so thought it would be suitable for the competition. So I submitted my design and thought nothing more of it. I was taught that it’s always good to enter any competitions that you feel are relevant, as it’s not only a chance to hone your design skills but also a good way to network and get to know the industry.
The submitted design.
A few days after the deadline I received an email to say my design had been shortlisted, and would be on display along with all the other shortlisted entries at Goldsmiths Hall for two days to run alongside their annual Make Your Mark event. Also, that I was invited to the awards evening where the winners would be announced. Although my design didn’t win a prize on the night I am made up to have been shortlisted, so as far as I am concerned I am already a winner! You can see the winners list here: http://www.professionaljeweller.com/inaugural-make-your-mark-awards-winners-revealed/
My second piece of great news this month was being chosen to take part in a fantastic silversmithing course run by the Goldsmiths Centre, called Getting Started. http://www.goldsmiths-centre.org/blog/2016/november/1/shine-2016-revealed/ It’s a week long course in January next year for recently graduated silversmiths involving seminars, interactive workshops and keynote speakers to give us information to help us pursue a career in the industry. Not only that but we also get our work exhibited at the Goldsmiths Centre from 24th November – 12th January, so go check it out if you’re in London (it’s free entry). I can’t wait to meet all the other ‘Shine’ people, it’s going to be such an interesting, and useful, week.
I’ve also finished my latest commission; the client is happy with it and has given it to his wife so I can now post photos of the finished article. The clients brief was for me to make a ring for his wife, with the instructions that he liked my structural rings (on my website). Needing a little more to go on I asked if there were any particular landmarks which held special meaning to him and his wife. He suggested the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, in Havana.
My initial design sketch which I presented to the client. He loved the idea so I started making the final piece.
I didn’t want the ring to have an obvious visial reference to the cathedral, instead it looks like an abstract floral design. But the wearer knows of its significance and the origins of the design, and that makes it more special.
Photo credit: Claire Cleaver
Photo credit: Claire Cleaver
The final article, I have to say I’m really pleased with it and it’s one of my favourite rings I have made to date. I have put the photos on my website (www.suzanneseedsilversmith.co.uk), which is starting to take shape nicely, I’m slowly making the transition from student to professional. My student badly photographed pieces are starting to become outnumbered by more professional pieces with quality photographs to match and I will continue to add pieces online as and when I have new designs to show. There are a few more in the pipeline at the moment and once my studio is up and running there will be no stopping me so watch this space…