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Contemporary jewellery graduate receives recognition for enamelling skills

A recently-graduated Jewellery student has been named a runner up of the Guild of Enamellers’ Bursary Award for 2016, after judges viewed a number of her creative designs.

Leah Wadey, who is 22 and from West Sussex, studied BA (Hons) Contemporary Jewellery at UCA Rochester and graduated this year. She says: “It means a great deal to me to be named as a runner up for this award. I took a huge amount of enjoyment from the Contemporary Jewellery course at UCA Rochester and worked extremely hard on each of my projects throughout my three years.

“I think what made my work more appealing, particularly within this competition, was my concentrated use of enamel in varying colours to create a layered and patterned effect. With a nod towards my contemporary training, the brooches I designed were larger in scale, which gave my plenty of surface area for experimentation with enamel techniques.”

The Guild of Enamellers was founded more than 30 years ago and works to encourage and promote the art and craft of enamelling, providing opportunities for enamellers in the UK and abroad. 

“Designing an idea can often involve lots of mistakes and editing, which is why I use simple materials to begin with such as paper and copper,” Leah says. “Once my designs are finalised, I create my finished piece in Silver. I choose to use silver as I personally enjoy using metals and felt that after graduating from university, I would be able to create and sell work to a wider audience. I used enamel during my third year as a way to bring in colour to my work, in a style that looked like my paintings and sketches.”

Leah is now expanding her collection of designs and hopes to showcase her latest work at exhibitions and craft shows.