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Media to catch up on whilst in lockdown

We’ve compiled a list of catch up TV, radio and podcasts which you might find useful to while away the hours whilst on lockdown. TV BBC - Handmade https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05ttnd7/broadcasts/upcoming Episode 1 Filmed without voiceover or music, this film is an absorbing portrait of the complex processes behind the crafting of a steel knife by bladesmith Owen Bush. BBC - Secrets of the Museum Unique arts series venturing behind the scenes at the world famous museum of art, design and performance, the V&A. www.bbc.co.uk Episodes containing jewellery: Episode 6 Behind the scenes at the V&A, transporting a unique car is a

Insta hashtags prompt sales in lockdown

The artist Matthew Burrows set up an artist-led movement and network on 16th March 2020 to support artists struggling financially during Covid-19 using the social media platform Instagram – with a simple pledge. The pledge #artistsupportpledge created a much needed route to market in lockdown for artists and makers. He released a statement saying that within a month “…from making the first sales pledge I am a little awe struck yet completely delighted by the momentum and viral take up of this campaign. It is not just an important network and survival mechanism for artists: It has become a global Hear

Benchpeg turns 15 in Lockdown

We’ve been so busy that we forgot that we recently should have celebrated our birthday! It is very hard to believe, for us, that we turned 15 at the beginning of this month. 15 years ago, when ecommerce was very limited, websites were non-responsive and social media hadn’t really got started in the way that we know it nowadays, we created Benchpeg to help democratise information for the sector and get it to those that needed the information most – micro and SME businesses within the jewellery industry. We’re extremely proud that we were the first digital newsletter in the

Benchpeg enjoys a lockdown chat with Maria Spanou

Continuing our lockdown need for conversation, we chat to long time friend and industry colleague Maria Spanou. Maria is a jewellery industry professional who is ex Central St Martins trained, has a history in finance, project management, jewellery communications, the jewellery retail space and is also a jewellery designer who works to commission. She is an excellent networker and all round good egg. We chat about lockdown, current work coping strategies and making plans for the future… [youtube url=http://youtu.be/x8xt-sRH_oY] Author:  Published: 

GSA Silversmithing and Jewellery students unveil lockdown collections

Final year Silversmithing & Jewellery graduating students at The Glasgow School of Art have unveiled collections conceived and made during lockdown in Graduate Showcase 2021. They are among over 500 graduating students from the acclaimed art school to be showing work on the specially-designed digital platform. For many of the young designers the time of isolation and their lockdown locations have created the starting point for the creative process, with re-engagement with nature emerging as a major theme Ellen Kynoch’s  Intangible Mass  explores themes of isolation, emotional decay, and the fragility of our minds during a long period of quarantine,

V&A launch open-call for homemade signs and rainbow drawings created during lockdown

The V&A has today announced an open-call for homemade signs created during lockdown to enter its permanent collection. From rainbow signs created by children to shop signs and hand-written notes posted in public spaces, the V&A is seeking signs that have been created by individuals and communities in response to the current isolation measures.  During social distancing, homemade signs have become commonplace on our streets. Whether they state temporary closure of a business, express messages of hope or critique, or raise awareness for a good cause, these signs have become a prominent way for us to communicate with the outside world during

News Edit: 7th February 2021

Here is a round up of this week's international jewellery news...   The Jewel Box offers a versatile melange of handcrafted silver and fashion jewellery Indulge Express: The outlook towards wearing jewellery has undergone a tremendous change. From flashy and elaborate gold metal the shift is towards ‘less is more’.   ndulgexpress.com Lockdown love: Couples pop the question to beat pandemic blues EDP24: People in Norfolk are being "more sentimental and romantic" during lockdown, jewellers have said, having seen couples and families go out of their way to make loved ones smile during the pandemic. edp24.co.uk Reddit Forum Said to Cause

This week we go cuckoo over Amy Mead...

In week four of our lockdown chats, Benchpeg chats to jewellery designer maker Amy Mead of www.amymead.co.uk .  Amy has been a designer maker for over 13 years, and we discuss the evolution of her brand and work, how its been in lockdown managing a house with three children, escape mechanisms and Instagram strategy.  [youtube url=http://youtu.be/aqpBAuc00vE] Amy came to jewellery after recovery from ME, and started her jewellery journey at City Lit and landed up with a workshop in Hatton Garden. She’s founded a micro jewellery start up, and placed it on hold whilst becoming a full time

Benchpeg Guest Judges for Vanilla Ink's Project C/O/N/N/E/C/T

Vanilla Ink, Scotland’s unique jewellery school, have been keeping jewellers sane in lockdown with a series of weekly projects. Fuelled by their commitment to staying connected and a deep passion for making, Scott and the team at Vanilla Ink have taken their skills online to help keep the jewellery community entertained and engaged. This week, Benchpeg was delighted to judge the design of the week as part of their project C/O/N/N/E/C/T. Project C/O/N/N/E/C/T sits in a trifecta of online offerings, including ‘Big Answers With Scott (BAWS)’, a weekly topic-led Q&A session with Scott himself, and ‘INKapacitated Sessions’, a weekly Facebook

Benchpeg catches up with Karin Paynter

As part of our lockdown chats series, this week Benchpeg catches up with Karin Paynter. Its a long one, but worth a listen, as we go through Karin's career, and the skill sets she developed intentionally and unintentionally along the way. Karin is an Independent Consultant, the Strategic Lead for Contemporary British Silversmiths and the Creative Director of ERA5050, a campaign for gender balance on British Stage and Screen. [youtube url=http://youtu.be/O0qcGGd67C0] She’s also a Medway trained Jeweller and Silversmith, with an MA from the Royal College of Art, is an award winning Silversmith in her own right, has

News Edit: 24 May 2020

As we find our 'new normal' here is a round up of last week's international jewellery news...   Why the super-rich are investing in diamonds and rare gemstones in lockdown The Telegraph: Amid economic uncertainty, the super-rich are looking to ultra-rare precious gemstones as a 'safe' store for their wealth. telegraph.co.uk In a pandemic, why are collectors splashing out millions on jewellery online? CAN Luxury: Despite the current climate, collectible jewellery sales are soaring at online auctions, with collectors having no qualms about purchasing pricy jewels sight unseen. channelnewsasia.com Stellar Price of Gold Might Dent Jewelers’ Profits This Year WWD:

Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery at Dovecot Studios Edinburgh

Dovecot Studios Edinburgh host Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery  22 August - 12 September 2020 Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh is hosting two new exhibitions this August featuring the very best of contemporary jewellery and Scottish textiles, alongside world-famous tapestries and the mid-century designs of Mary Quant, Terence Conran, Laura Ashley, and Eduardo Paolozzi. From Friday 7 August, Dovecot Studios will fully reopen the world-famous tapestry studio to visitors for the first time since lockdown. Visitors have the opportunity to see Dovecot weavers at work on both rugs and tapestries in the award-winning building. Opening Saturday 22 August, Dazzle will present

News Edit: 9 August 2020

Here is a round up of last week's international jewellery news...   How The Jewelry Industry Is Mobilizing To Stamp Out Racism Forbes: In the wake of the global social justice movement over recent weeks, black jewelry designers have found themselves thrust front and center as consumers look for ways to show their support. forbes.com Shiny new business idea from Chippenham jeweller Wiltshire Times: Chippenham jeweller Tamara Eggleston has had a Eureka moment. She had to cancel her silver jewellery making workshops due to lockdown back in March. So she has invented a home jewellery making kit to keep her

Experience the magic of a Jewellery Quarter Christmas from home!

With over 50 participating businesses, this year’s Christmas Window Trail was set to turn Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter into a true winter wonderland. However, as the country has entered its second national lockdown, they are bringing the magic of the JQ’s streets to you so you don’t miss out on the festive fun!  Browse all the window displays from the comfort of your home and vote for your favourite for a chance to win a JQ Prize Bundle which includes artisanal chocolates, silver earrings, a whisky testing set, vouchers to use in local businesses & more! Vote for your favourite display

Benchpeg goes all chatty

As part of lockdown, we thought we'd have a call with an old friend, Fei Liu. The world is slightly different these days, and keeping in touch is all important. We called Fei Liu, Creative Director and Founder of Fei Liu, for one of our regular catch ups, but this time we recorded it to share. Fei and Benchpeg's Rebecca first met back in 1998, in fact, they were the first classmates to meet on the Jewellery and Silversmithing BA Hons course at Birmingham's School of Jewellery. The best of friends, Fei was the bride's gentleman (as the Vicar called [youtube

News Edit: 2 August 2020

Here is a round up of last week's international jewellery news...   The Ethical Jewellery Labels To Put On Your Radar Marie Claire: While ethical fashion and jewellery were once pegged as 'having a moment', the reality is that now more so than ever consumers are becoming increasingly aware of where their pieces are coming from. marieclaire.com.au The jewellery you've been buying in lockdown AFR: Los Angeles designer Irene Neuwirth has garnered a loyal following with her whimsical designs and COVID-19 has proven no barrier to sales. afr.com Jeweller to the stars lost job after head-on bike crash with Uber

#UnityInIsolation - A Virtual Exhibition - Needs You!

It was announced yesterday that the UK’s lockdown period is to be extended for a further three weeks. Whilst this undoubtedly comes as a disappointing blow to many, we all understand why it is necessary. However, small glimmers of prosperity are lighting the way through the mundanity of staying home, like small green shoots growing through cracks in concrete. For many, its been a time of renewed creativity and sense of community. The project we introduce you to today is at the cornerstone of both. Like it or loathe it, social media has been instrumental in connecting us whilst we cannot

Digital NAJ Live

The NAJ has now revealed plans on how it plans to continue with its successful lockdown webinars and coffee breaks through a revised monthly ‘NAJ Live’ format. Sarah Duncan from Chiswick Auctions who previously presented one of the most popular ‘lockdown’ seminars on ‘Sentimental Jewellery’ is announced as a keynote speaker alongside Alex Kettler, Head of Media at Richard Winterton Auctioneers for the very first digital NAJ Live. The digital NAJ Live format will include three webinar presentations, with Helen Dimmick NAJ Retail Ambassador hosting proceedings. After the webinar sessions have closed, attendees will then have the opportunity to join

Virtual Window Shopping: Jewellery 2020

Global fashion search platform Lyst released today its latest trend report, Virtual Window Shopping: Jewellery 2020. To compile the results, Lyst analysed the online shopping behaviour of more than nine million shoppers a month searching, across 12,000 brands and retailers. While tracking various spikes in searches, current trends and the impact of a global lockdown in the jewellery market, this report highlights the fastest rising categories and micro trends we have seen online over the past 12 months. The jewellery report reveals that: This year, 68% of jewellery shoppers searched for gold pieces. Worn by influencers including Hailey Bieber and Bella

First Minister wears COP26 brooch

The  City of Glasgow College  ran a competition during Lockdown linked to their HND Jewellery students coursework to design a brooch for the First Minister  Nicola Sturgeon  to wear to COP26. It was to be based on rising sea levels as an effect of Climate Change. The winning brooch was designed by a first year student Aileen Dickie-Adams, inspired by the Corryvreckan whirlpool in Scotland, the 3rd largest in the world. Vipa Designs designs kindly cast her brooch using ethical materials and Aileen, alongside the college's Lecturer Maciej Sankowski, hand finished the brooch, adding the layer of Fairtrade Gold. The

British Craft Trade Fair acquired by Kerrison Exhibitions

The British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) has been acquired by Kerrison Exhibitions Limited in a deal completed on 14th April 2021 after the previous owner, PSM Limited, was forced to seek a new owner for the fair following the cancellation of its April 2020 and 2021 events during the lockdown.  The past year has seen unprecedented challenges for the exhibitions and live events industry. Whilst many shows, organisers, contractors and venues may not make it through to the other side of the pandemic restrictions, today’s acquisition announcement confirms that the UK’s leading trade show for handmade British crafts will benefit

Lead Artist: Makers and Movers, Craftspace

Lead Artist: Makers and Movers, Craftspace We are looking to recruit a shadow artist (any artform but interested in early years), aged 18-25 and living in Birmingham or West Midlands, to support the planning and delivery of creative workshops and making kits for families. Makers and Movers is a craft and movement project for early years children (aged 0-5 years) and their families. Delivered by dance and craft artists working collaboratively, live sessions will use open-ended play to address areas of early year’s development that have been affected by lockdown, aiming to: rebuild physical strength and skills, nurture relationships and develop

City of Glasgow College run eco jewellery competition

The City of Glasgow College recently ran a Jewellery Design competition for Secondary Schools in Scotland during Lockdown with the theme  #climatemergency  and received over 300 entries. The competition challenged young people to design a pendant that reflects the world’s climate emergency. Mirin Scott from Carluke High School has won the S1-S3 category for her design which highlighted bees becoming endangered. Grace Anderson from Blairgowrie High School took first place for S4-S6 with her pendant underlining the urgency of time. Lisa McGovern, Curriculum Head for Craft and Design at City of Glasgow College, said: “We had over 300 entries for

British Craft Trade Fair 2020 - Online

The British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) 2020 Online 14 - 15 June 2020 The British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) is about to launch its first ever online exhibition featuring thousands of new product launches from hundreds of British designer makers keen to reach retailers as lockdown ends. Registered buyers will be able to log in between 10.00 – 17.00 on June 14 – 15 via the BCTF web portal and the BCTF award winners will be revealed at 17.00 on Sunday June 14. BCTF Online will incorporate live chat between buyers and exhibitors and an enhanced online catalogue featuring video

News Edit: 11 October 2020

Here is a round up of last week's international jewellery news...   All The Best Jewellery Trends From The SS21 Shows Vogue: With lockdown round two and potential economic doom on the horizon, you might be thinking it’s time to put the fripperies of jewellery to one side. But for spring/summer 2021, designers have proven what all true lovers of jewellery know: its ability to lift your mood is undeniable, as is its power to make you look instantly dressed up – even if off camera, you are pairing it only with your pyjamas. vogue.co.uk London Fashion Week: the need-to-know

‘Making Connections’ Lecture by Corinne Julius

K2 Presents: ‘Making Connections’ Lecture by Corinne Julius K2 Academy of Contemporary Jewellery Education Space at Cockpit, Holborn Monday, 7th March 2022, 6pm - 8pm No matter how creative a jeweller you are, no matter how exciting your designs, unless you can reach your market, that jewellery will not be in conversation with wearers and observers. It’s never easy to sell your own work, which to some degree means selling yourself. Covid and lockdown has made that harder and for many face to face communication has become unbearably difficult. To help, the journalist, critic and curator Corinne Julius will discuss

Great Scots in Isolation @ The Scottish Gallery

Great Scots  The Scottish Gallery Online 3 - 27 June 2020 The Scottish Gallery are pleased to introduce  Great Scots in Isolation , which is a series of short 1-2 minute films by Scottish Gallery artists from Scotland, UK and internationally. The Scottish Gallery wants to show solidarity to all at this time of isolation and let you into our artists' worlds.  When the country went into lockdown on the 23rd March 2020, our lives changed dramatically. As the world around us closed down, our instinct was to reach out to our artists and allow them to have a voice [youtube [youtube [youtube [youtube [youtube [youtube

Lebrusan Studio reveals an increase in searches of over 1,200% for shoppers looking for commitment rings

Award winning ethical jeweller, Lebrusan Studio, has today released figures that show an increase in searches of over 1,200% for shoppers visiting the site looking for commitment rings. The stats, gleaned from a comparison between January to March versus June to August, show that during the three months coming out of lockdown, more lovers were searching for the term ‘commitment ring’ than ever before. During the first quarter of the year, Lebrusan Studio saw 380 searches for this key term, compared with 5,378 in the last three, showing an exponential spike and an undeniable feeling that when all else fails,

News Edit: 7 June 2020

As we find our 'new normal' here is a round up of last week's international jewellery news...   10 Black Jewellery Designers Who Deserve Your Support And Investment Vogue: Prominent black voices are rare in jewellery. Even though many of the world’s riches in the form of precious metals and gemstones come from Africa, its residents are far more likely to have been cruelly exploited in the name of adornment than to have benefited from it. vogue.co.uk Lockdown prompts a rethink of how we buy and sell jewellery Wallpaper: Gallerist Elisabetta Cipriani offers a creative alternative to trying on jewellery.

News Edit:11 April 2021

Here is a round up of this week's international jewellery news...   Diamonds and tracksuits: how the super rich styled jewellery in lockdown The Telegraph: Jewellery sales have been surprisingly buoyant over the last 12 months, as magpies stacked their diamonds high to boost the mood. www.telegraph.co.uk Princess Margaret's mother-in-law the Countess of Rosse's dazzling jewellery collection including a £250,000 ring and a £20,000 bracelet worn to the royal wedding is to be sold at auction Daily Mail: Countess of Rosse's jewellery will be auctioned on 28 April at Bonhams, London. www.dailymail.co.uk How to upcycle treasured jewellery Marie Claire: Keen

Spun Glass Theatre Commission

The Baby Challenge: First Artist Commission  The Challenge We want to commission artists who have never made work for babies (0-18months) before from diverse arts practices. You could be a circus performer, lighting designer, poet, storyteller, designer, writer, sculptor, ballet dancer etc. We'd love to hear from any and all art forms! Who We Are Looking For We're looking for 6 South East/London based artists (who are free for 1 week in June/July) to create a workshop/installation/experience for new parents and babies. £650 per commission.  Why Now? 600,000 babies have been born in the UK since lockdown who have never