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All That Glitters…

All That Glitters… / Saturday 21st November 2015 - Saturday 16th January 2016

This exhibition’s theme revolves around the work of printmaker Sue Brown and wood artist Mikael Nilsson both of which feature crows and black birds. We have invited 10 contemporary jewellers, whose work might attract a magpie or crow, to show alongside Sue and Mikael’s work.

Confirmed artists include Chris Boland, Jennie Gill, Mirka Janeckova, Tracey Birchwood, Kate Moult, Katie Clarke, Gail Klevan, Petra Bishai, Anne Morgan and Emma Ware.

Private View – Friday 20th Nov, 5.30pm – 7.30pm. For further information please call Bluecoat Display Centre on 0151 709 4014.

Sue Brown 1

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Sue’s work is inspired by natural and narrative themes and driven by exploring contemporary enamel and printmaking techniques. Sue specialises in collagraph printmaking, a process that involves making a collage combining tile cement, carborundum and found textures. The technique provides intaglio prints with deeply textural surfaces. During a period of study on an MA in Multi-disciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England, Sue added 3D pieces in enamel and metal to her body of work. Alongside her printmaking practice she is experimenting with enamel application, combining digital and screen printed transfers with sifted and wet enamel on both copper and steel substrates. Springing from the pages of her sketchbooks and developing carefully researched themes, Sue uses print and enamel in unexpected ways. Sue is passionate about promoting the understanding of the contemporary use of traditional craft techniques. She leads workshops and demonstrations for groups of all ages nationally in a wide variety of intaglio and enamelling processes.

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Swedish artist Mikael Nilsson focuses in particular upon depicting the menacing form of crows, resembling birds similar to those featured in the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film! The rough nature of the wood he sources lends itself to the ominous appearance of his birds. All crows are unique and hand-carved with an axe and a knife, made from black-stained Lime wood. Born in Linkoping, Sweden in 1972 Mikael studied Handicraft and Culture at Linkopings University. “I try to give each figure a personality, express a feeling, motion, gesture. I make crows because I like them and would like to have a real one as a friend”

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Chris was selected by the Bluecoat Display Centre from the exhibitors at the Great Northern Contemporary Art Fair in 2011. He was awarded an exhibition of his jewellery at Bluecoat Display Centre during  May 2012. Chris Boland was born in York and studied Metalwork and Jewellery at Sheffield Hallam University. Since graduating, he has worked as a self employed artist jeweller and metalworker. His work sells at selected galleries and shops around the country. He currently maintains a studio at the Porter Brook studios in Sheffield. "Structure is of fundamental importance in my work. I use my fascination of the gemstone and crystal structure to inform my bespoke jewellery pieces. Strong, bold shapes are used to stress the unique qualities of the gemstones. When creating my jewellery, I combine strength and confidence with delicacy and intricacy. I work mainly in silver and precious gemstones sometimes using gold to accentuate. The premise behind my work is that the wearer would display, on a human scale, that which is normally hidden from view by its microscopic size. " - Chris Boland

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Jennie has been designing and making precious jewellery in Sheffield for 23 years.

Initially designing for trade, working with high street fashion labels French Connection, Phase Eight and Oasis, winning trade awards ‘Gift of the Year’ from the Giftware Association and Johnson and Matthey ‘10 of the best’ Platinum Award.

An Arts Council funded research trip to New York sparked an interest in vintage cut diamonds which led her into a more spontaneous approach to designing at her bench as a direct response to the materials around her.

Most pieces are one-offs, based around unique stones. She is drawn to hand cut, natural diamonds, the flaws and inclusions tell their own stories.

A recent Arts Council development grant has enabled her to invest in the development of fine, cast iron jewellery….on going!

On a larger scale, Jennie also designed several public art pieces, free standing, gates and railings.

Current projects include a collaboration in jewellery design with the iconic fashion designer Rita Britton and her own clothes label Nomad.

Her studio in Persistence Works, Sheffield, is a hub of creative and productive people, a real community.

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Mirkas ‘White Collection’ is inspired by the meaning of the colour white, surrealism and the deep sea.

She sees her jewellery as a container for a wearer’s emotions, memories and hopes. Her pieces refer to the body in an abstract way, exploring the relationship between people and their subconscious mind.

Mirka uses exclusively white materials such as silver and porcelain.

Porcelain is a fresh material for jewellery but a very relevant one. Porcelain pieces appear fragile but they are surprisingly durable with hardness 7 on Mohs scale – the same as most semi - precious stones.

Porcelain can be moulded to any shape so it gives her jewellery a much bigger range of expression compared to using stones  which can only be cut to certain shapes.

She uses traditional goldsmithing techniques but is also developing new ones such as casting porcelain in place. This technique allows flowing connection between ceramic and metal parts and creates a specific style to her rings and other items.

Research is a really important part of her process. Mirka wanted to create a truly unique look so spent a year on drawing, research and design development.


Her pieces are designed for a woman who is not afraid to dream.

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We all want to belong, to be accepted as part of a community, or to form part of a tribe.

Ancient tribes stretching across the world have ornamented themselves with jewellery inspired by nature, using these to symbolise status, and to set themselves aprt from other tribes in both culture and beliefs.

Today our choice of clothing, jewellery and other adornments tells us much about a person’s status, values and ideals, and can be used to set us apart from convention. In the pursuit of individuality we draw inspiration from ancient culture; many of the tattoos and body piercings of today are inspired by African, Maori and native American tribal cultures (to name a few). Although non-conformist, they share the style of the particular subculture we want to belong to.

My work is a modern interpretation of tribal adornment. I take my inspiration from traditional art such as Celtic or Maori, but also capture the spirit of contemporary body art. My work is predominantly crafted in silver, but also incorporates leather and a range of semi precious stones to produce a striking contrast. I design to promote individuality, to make the wearer feel beautiful and to allow the unconventional to belong.

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Katie graduated from Middlesex University with a BA (Hons) in Jewellery in 1996.

Katie's initial design conceptions owes much to the method of fly-tying; a technique Katie takes out of context, producing pieces that encapsulate the beauty of such a tradition. Her jewellery designs combine precious and non-precious elements to create a wide array of work, from colourful feathers, flashes of iridescent crystal fibres alongside traditional components of 9 or 18ct gold and sterling silver.

Her jewellery is ever evolving. More recently, the feathers have taken on a bolder, geometric look.  Sterling Silver is used as a vehicle for the non-precious elements. The feathers are the main focus, heightening the effect of colour and rhythm within a piece.


Katie has exhibited at galleries and exhibitions extensively across the UK, Europe and the USA. In particular Dazzle Exhibitions, London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, the prestigious Chelsea Craft Fair, London and the International Gift Fair both at New York and San Francisco.


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Gail grew up in Manchester and trained there in Wood, Metal and Ceramics before awarded an RCA bursary to take her MA in Jewellery and Silversmithing at the Royal College of Art in London. She now specialises in acrylic jewellery and has attracted a large and enthusiastic following, not just in the UK but in many overseas countries too.

This innovative jewellery has evolved by continuous experimentation with modern acrylic materials.  The pattern and drawing refract dense colour with metallic gold and silver undertones across smooth and sculpted surfaces. These interact with the organic curvature and geometry of the highly polished optical-quality acrylic shapes creating shimmering, ever changing iridescence. Though bold, the jewellery is designed to adorn and flatter the wearer and is suitable with either casual or formal clothing and is comfortable and easy to wear for both everyday and special occasions. Like the Bakelite jewellery of the 1930′s, these elegant and striking designs will become the classics of tomorrow.



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Petra’s work is inspired by urban life reflecting her fascination with living in a large city.  Her established ‘Entrapment’ collection explores the paradox of belonging and alienation and how we adapt and interact with our environment. The collection contains hand picked jasmine flowers that are entrapped in silver through the process of electroforming.  As a result each piece is one of a kind.

In her collection ‘Attachment’ she continues to consider questions of interaction but changes the emphasis to look at how individuals alter their surroundings.  In ‘Attachment’ the pieces represent a fluid and flexible London held together by an outsider.  There is visible tension but if the attachment is removed the piece comes apart.  It is only a question of how long before the ’outsider’ becomes the ‘insider’.  In this collection Petra utilises methods not usually associated with traditional jewellery practice including knotting and stapling to underline the concept of interdependence.

Petra’s collection ’Lucifer’ plays with the idea of being the odd one out.  Silver matches are concealed inside retro matchboxes and matchbooks.  Are they special or simply out of place?  Is difference something to be embraced or does it simply disturb the harmony of the order?

Her latest collection of ‘Dunes’ considers how people adapt to change and alterations in society. Using the imagery of shifting sands to explore how we adapt and interact with a new landscape. Transition occurs: do you go with the flow, do you contest the change or do you create your own pathway?

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Anne Morgan is an established contemporary jeweller who recently designed and made the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2012 Crown – A most prestigious accolade for any Welsh designer.

Anne’s specialism in her jewellery is to use a technique called reticulation. The texture marks a precise moment in which Anne withdraws the flame from part-liquefied silver. Once she has perfected these surfaces Anne off sets them with strong lines. She forges a relationship between organic texture and a simple geometry, rather like the placing of a formal structure in a natural landscape. She sets up a coupling in which each element complements the other. She often combines the textured silver with semi-precious stones and pearls. She continues to return to her passion of reticulation.

Anne is always developing her work and exploring other mediums to create wearable pieces.

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The Re:Cycle collection by Emma Ware is sculptural and tactile, unique yet classic, these pieces take jewellery design into a new realm.

Made by juxtaposing malleable dark rubber with polished metal, these are intricate sculptures that are framed and complimented by the body. Reflecting our curves and angles to emphasize and celebrate the beauty in nature. Soft, tactile and moveable these creations need to be seen and touched to be fully appreciated.

Not only are these pieces unique, they grow from a sustainable, ethical perspective. The design is of primary importance, the fact the materials are reclaimed is fundamental but not obvious. All pieces are made by hand in her London studio, each is a one-off, an art work in itself.A London based artist and designer with a background in fine and applied arts, Emma studied for a degree at Wimbledon School of Arts and a diploma in Broadcasting at Ravensbourne College. She went on to build a career in Film and TV, working in the camera department as a clapper loader and focus puller. Feeling an increasing need to have creative independence and for the love of making, Emma began her jewellery business.

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"This jewellery is made from small clusters of hand formed porcelain, all carefully linked together to form shimmery earrings and pendants.  I mostly make quite little delicate pieces. A lot of my designing I do as I make – ideas tend to naturally progress and inspire the next designs.  I am always influenced by the natural world – whether it’s the spirals on a seed cone or the petals circling a flower – a lot of what I am drawn to is always quite geometric and repetitive in pattern.”

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