Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Record number of jewellery and silversmithing graduates

Record number of jewellery and silversmithing graduates

FOURTEEN students of jewellery and silversmithing have graduated from a training course in Dunsden.

They learned their craft at the Bishopsland Educational Trust, where they lived as resident artists at the home of founders Oliver and Penelope “Pope” Makower for 46 weeks.

They were presented with certificates as a record of their achievement at Friday’s graduation ceremony, which was attended by about 20 family and friends and was followed by a drinks reception.

There was also an exhibition of their work during the evening, including bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cutlery, rings, bowls, jugs, candlesticks and napkin holders.

Mr Makower said this year’s course had the largest intake of students since it began in 1993 and their work was the best he had seen to date.

He said: “We have had an absolutely fabulous year. I know it has been tough at times but the work that has come out over this last year has been absolutely marvellous.

“I really do congratulate everybody that has taken part — tutors as well as makers — we are really very thrilled. We had more people taking the course than we have ever had and the results have been really remarkable.

“That is something that Pope and I are extremely proud of and I’m quite sure that in your hearts all of you will be pleased with what has been achieved.

“We are extremely lucky that we have had some very good tutors from outside. We have had people that have been prepared to work very hard.”

Mrs Makower said: “It has been a very busy, challenging year for us all and I would like to congratulate the gang for their hard work and for what they have managed to achieve. I do hope it will hold you in good stead.” The guests applauded as each student was presented with a certificates by Arts Society members Caroline Symington and Gina Archer.

Afterwards silver collector John Andrews, a friend of the Makowers, spoke about the British silver market and the challenges posed by Brexit.

Mrs Makower also thanked Anthony Reineke for supporting the students by exhibiting some of their work at his jewellery shop, Studio 35 in Duke Street, Henley.

This year’s graduates were David Hay, Hyun Baek, Ellys May Woods, Rebecca Oldfield, Nicola Fabian, Marissa Ziessing, Sophie Minshull, Harriet Morris, Charlotte Vanhoubroeck, Sarah Shelton-Palmer, Samuel Hemmett, Kajsa Malström, Iona Hall, Kitty Fuller

About 200 students have now attended the school since it was established and up to 70 per cent of them remain in the industry. 

The new course begins next month and the Makowers are expecting an intake of 10 or 11.

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