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James Handyside Wins Young Apprentice of the Year Award

HRH  The  Princess Royal, President of the City and Guilds of London Institute, presented the latest  Goldsmiths’ Company Members’ Charitable Fund Young Apprentice of the Year Award ,   which  recognises  excellence in vocational skills and career progression, to former Goldsmiths’ Company apprentice, James  Handyside. Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, Judith  Cobham -Lowe, congratulated James at the presentation, part of the Prince Philip Medal Awards Ceremony at St James’s Palace. In 2013 James undertook a three year apprenticeship with leading  Hatton Garden engravers  R.H. Wilkins,   specialising  in hand engraving.   Trained by Master Engraver, Emmet Smith, James learned

Philip Kydd Apprentice wins Gold at Jewellery Oscars

James  Kydd , silversmithing apprentice under his master (and  father) Philip  Kydd , recently had a very  successful evening at the Goldsmiths ’  Craft and Design Council Awards  – the  ‘ Oscars ’  for the jewellery and  silversmithing trades. The ceremony was held in the pre stigious  and beautiful surroundings of Goldsmiths ’  Hall in London.  James won the  Gold Award  in the Junior Craft category ;  the  Gold Award  in the Junior section of the  Polishing category; the  Bronze  Award for  Setting; and the  Special Award  (presented for the first time this  year) for  ‘A n appropriate design that

Call for Applications: Two fully funded Graduate Apprentice Scheme residential scholarships

Call for Applications: Fully funded Graduate Apprentice Scheme Residential Scholarships South House Silver Workshop Trust Two fully funded Graduate Apprentice Scheme residential scholarships are being offered by the Trustees of the South House Silver Workshop Trust. The scholarships will give two silversmiths the opportunity to learn a variety of silversmithing skills in an intensive residential placement with leading silversmiths Rod Kelly and Brett Payne. Travel, accommodation and tuition fees will be covered by the grant. The placements will be divided into two periods of intensive residential workshop experience - one silversmith will spend two months in Shetland with Rod Kelly

Alexander Wood receives the Goldsmiths’ Company Apprentice of the Year Award

First granted in 2015, this prestigious annual award celebrates excellence in skill, attitude and commitment. This year Alex was nominated not only for his exceptional performance since starting his training as a diamond mounting apprentice, but also to recognise the support he has received from his former Master, Nathaniel Groves. Selected by the Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship team and his fellow Apprentices, it was acknowledged that Alex - who is a former Goldsmiths’ Centre Foundation Programme trainee now working for E C Wolfe - had proven his exceptional capability throughout his four-year diamond-mounting apprenticeship with Nathaniel Groves. In particular, Alex was

Are you a UK Jewellery Student or Apprentice? Read This!

At Benchpeg, we love encouraging and nourishing future creative talent by inspiring you with unique stories, promoting new designers and signposting you to other great resources for those new to the industry. We're excited to let you know about a new membership programme, launched by the Goldsmiths' Centre, for Students and Apprentices registered on UK precious metal courses (sign-up link below). The initiative delivers full access to the Goldsmiths' Centre back-catalogue of Creative Links talks, technical articles and industry-specific resources created by specialist craftspeople for those in the goldsmithing industry.  From personal experience, you only tend to realise just how

Goldsmiths' Company Apprentice, Sam McMahon, to Compete in Worldskills Finals in Russia

Last Friday 8 March, set against a backdrop of luxury cars, three Goldsmiths’ company apprentices battled it out for a spot on the UK team at the Worldskills Finals in Kazan, Russia this Summer.  Apprentices, Sam McMahon from Mappin & Webb , George Schembri from B&M Bijoux and Robert Dean from The House of Garrard, spent three days in Nottingham demonstrating their exceptional technical skills in jewellery making. Set to the task of creating an Aston Martin badge to a specific design, testing their accuracy, time management and problem-solving skills. Sam McMahon proved his mettle against his fellow competitors taking

A new verge for Westminster Abbey

Ottewill Silversmiths and Jewellers Ltd proudly watched as the new verge manufactured for Westminster Abbey was used for the first time on Tuesday by the Dean’s Verger, Martin Castledine. The special service, to celebrate the 750 th  Anniversary of the re-building of the Abbey, was attended by Her Majesty The Queen. The commission by Westminster Abbey following a tender process overseen by The Goldsmiths’ Company, stipulated that the piece had to be made by an apprentice. Our 5 year apprentice, 21 year old William Sullivan, relished the challenge and it was hand made to an exceptional standard in our Ashford

Q&A: Jos Skeates

Jos Skeates a Goldsmith and the Co-Founder, along with wife Alison, of the leading, multi award winning, Central London jewellery boutique EC One the Jewellers. He is also the Chairman of the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council. He answers the Benchpeg Q&A. What’s your name, and what do you for a living? JS: Jos Skeates, Goldsmith and owner of E.C.One the Jewellers.  How did you come to work in the jewellery industry? JS: Total chance. I was looking for a summer job when I was sixteen and saw an advert for an apprentice Diamond Mounter. I’ve never looked back.  How

Q&A: Grant Macdonald

Grant Macdonald is an esteemed silversmith of international repute. He began his career in precious metals at the age of 14, he attended a pre apprentice course at the Central School of Arts and Crafts finally graduating from Sir John Cass School of Art. The Grant Macdonald business was established in 1969 and became a limited company in 1977. The business is still thriving and has had is base in Bear Lane, London for some 41 years. Over a career spanning some 50 years the Grant Macdonald brand has worked in every aspect of the trade to the heightened areas

Goldsmiths' Centre Launches New Grant for 'Ambitious Learning Experiences'

Grants of up to £5,000 are being offered for 'ambitious learning experiences' as part of the Career Catalyst initiative, offered by the Goldsmiths' Centre, with support from the Goldsmiths' Company Charity and the Radcliffe Trust.  The idea was inspired by former Goldsmiths' Company Apprentice, award-winning jeweller and engraver Castro Smith, whose 2018 travels to Japan have informed and enhanced his recent work. In a similar vein, the Career Catalyst Grant is designed to encourage jewellers, silversmiths and others working in the allied industries to immerse themselves in an unfamiliar environment and develop an innovative approach to their practice. The grant

Q&A: Stephen M Goldsmith FIPG MBGG

Stephen M Goldsmith FIPG MNGG KCHS is a precious metal polisher of high repute having worked in some of the most prestigious jewellery houses in the country. With some 45 years of experience as a craftsman in the jewellery and silversmithing industry, a former employee of the crown jewellers he has even worked in the Tower of London on the Crown Jewels. Starting out on a pre-apprentice course at Rochester, and then an apprenticeship, he can now be safely described as a Master Craftsman, and has just has his first book published, ‘Polishing and Finishing for Jewellers and Silversmiths’ which [youtube

Camden Apprenticeships

Call for Applications: Camden Apprenticeships For SMEs and Mirco Businesses The advantages of apprenticeships for employers have recently increased further, particularly for small businesses. Employers with less than 50 employees can now access funding to cover 100% of apprenticeship training costs from the government, no matter the age of their apprentice. Camden Apprenticeships provide a free advice and recruitment service to help organisations plan and develop their apprenticeships programmes. Take the opportunity to explore how you can use apprenticeships in your organisation. If you’d like to find out more about how your organisation could make the most of apprenticeships, contact

Crafts for the Future Conference

Crafts for the Future  The Heritage Crafts Association is pleased to announce that booking for the 2018 conference, Crafts for the Future, is now open.  Keynote speakers this year will be HCA Patron and ceramics producer, Emma Bridgewater and Sam Walton from Hole & Corner magazine, a bi-annual print magazine devoted to celebrating craft, beauty, passion and skill. In the afternoon session, makers from the critically endangered category of The HCA/Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts will be addressing the audience. Martin Frost, fore-edge painter Kate Hetherington, horse collar maker Wim Visscher, parchmenter JoJo Wood, apprentice clog maker and wood

WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

The apprenticeship programme in the UK is undergoing its most significant revival in recent years, with the Government announcing its commitment to work with employers to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. For an industry that has been running apprenticeship programmes since 1334, when the Goldsmiths’ Company Apprenticeship Scheme launched, this announcement has been welcomed. But while many organisations offer highly respected apprenticeship programmes, what does it take to train a world class apprentice jeweller? Steven Jinks, the WorldSkills UK Training Manager for Jewellery, who is responsible for training three Goldsmiths’ apprentices in Squad UK for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, explains

Jewellery Apprentices Compete to Represent UK

Billed as the  world’s  toughest skills competition, WorldSkills Abu Dhabi ,  will see over 1000 apprentices and students , under the age of 23,  come together to compete to be named the top apprentice in their skill.  Three  talented apprentices are aiming to represent the UK in  Jewellery  at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. The competition takes place from 14 to 19 October  and over 70 countries will be taking part . Participating  in a four day  selection competiti on from 29 March to 1 April at  Trafford College ,   with the hope of  win ning  the one  coveted place  in

Appointment: Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE the first woman Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company

Wednesday 17 May marked the installation of trailblazing Londoner,    Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE,  as the first woman Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company. Judith has a background in academia, corporate strategy and business leadership, and her year as Prime Warden will launch the decade running up to the 700th Anniversary of the Company's first Royal Charter. At least £70m  will be gifted by the Livery Company and its Charity over the next 10 years in support of the gold and silversmiths’ trade, apprentice training and other charitable activities.   Recent projects include:   Funding the ‘Worship and Life’ section of

New Appointment Shatters 700-year Glass Ceiling

Wednesday 17 May marked the installation of trailblazing Londoner,    Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE,  as the first woman Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company. Judith has a background in academia, corporate strategy and business leadership, and her year as Prime Warden will launch the decade running up to the 700th Anniversary of the Company's first Royal Charter. At least £70m  will be gifted by the Livery Company and its Charity over the next 10 years in support of the gold and silversmiths’ trade, apprentice training and other charitable activities.   Recent projects include:   Funding the ‘Worship and Life’ section of

Contemporary British Silversmiths Members win Scholarships

The  South House Silver Workshop Trust  has recently announced it has awarded two fully funded six-month Graduate Apprentice Scheme residential scholarships and an additional four in collaboration with its partners. giving talented and committed silversmiths an opportunity to develop their creative and technical skills with silversmiths Rod Kelly and Brett Payne. The winners are: Six-month Graduate Apprenticeships: Jessica Jue  &  Ellys Woods One month scholarships: Sarah Shelton Palmer The Jamie McDonald Kelly Scholarship   Fenella Watson The Saunders Scholarship Loucinda Nims The Pearson Foundation Scholarship Charlotte Tollyfield The South House Silver Workshop Trust Scholarship The call for applications was made here: benchpeg .