This summer saw the New Designers exhibition at the Business Design Centre in Islington; the annual show of creative graduates from universities and colleges in the UK. This expansive fair is a fascinating insight into the shapes and trends of the near future as these young artists begin their careers in industry and as independent entrepreneurs. To see the fresh, the new and the challenging, a visit to New Designers is a must!

From huge multi-media statement pieces to tiny, intricate works in a variety of metals, the Jewellery and Metalwork section really did have something for every taste and inclination, proving that design trends are less about passing whims and more to do with a thoughtful design process and professionally executed pieces. There were various designers using alternative metals this year and a favourite seemed to be gilding metal. Many of the graduates were producing unique and yet understated pieces. When we see the phrase ‘unique jewellery’ it is easy to imagine the wild and wacky, but these pieces were true originals in a quiet way that enabled easy wearability  and exuded style and integrity.

Mairi Burrow (Mustard and Peaches)- Duncan of Jordanstone

Mairi has created ranges from a variety of unconventional inspirations, such as dementia and cancer. Not obvious muses one might think, but the resulting jewellery pieces are rich and delicately sublime. A series of rings with gradually evolving structured mounts and a collection of sensitive, beautifully finished pieces of jewellery provide a stunning showcase for Mairi’s obvious talents.








Charlotte Cort Koppel - Central Saint Martins

Charlotte’s collection is an impressive array of kinetic jewellery, all based on one shape of structural connection.  From experimenting with various shapes, curves, metals and joints, Charlotte hit upon a pattern that is wearable, moveable and endlessly adaptable. From this pattern she has fabricated finger, wrist and neck pieces; some of them from short single lengths that produce subtle pieces and some from layers and layers of longer stretches, making elaborate catwalk pieces.

Charlotte Cort Koppel









Valerie Yap – London Metropolitan

Valerie’s jewellery is simply stunning. Her pieces consist of a series of golden curves that flow and ebb around the wearer’s body. The overriding impression that one takes away from seeing her collection is – perfection. Each piece is impeccably balanced with curves in just the right place, making jewellery that both show stopping and yet very accessible. Valerie has a very good eye.

Valerie Yap









Rebecca Jane Morrison - Edinburgh College of Art

Rebecca uses surface decoration with a solid sense of aesthetics to create solid metal jewellery with an organic quality and outstanding detail. It is clear when holding a piece of her jewellery that every element has been consciously designed and thought through, producing a collection of pieces that feel exceptional.

Rebecca Jane Morrison









Sally-Anne Fenton - Duncan of Jordanstone

Another young designer with an exceptional eye for balance and aplomb is Sally-Anne Fenton. She produces pieces that are understated and yet unique, with a very special twist. Sally-Anne offers a bespoke service to clients, offering to rework existing family jewels and relatives clothing into contemporary jewellery that is to the wearer’s taste. The result is jewellery pieces that are unique, beautifully finished, very wearable and incredibly personal. A look at her website will tell you that she also has a firm grounding in business behind her creative talents.

Sally-Anne Fenton









Jennifer  Ho (Little Box Jewellery) - Duncan of Jordanstone

Jennifer’s parents were born in Hong Kong and after moving to the UK, told her many stories of their life before moving. Jennifer has turned these stories into tiny works of metal art which can be worn as rings and neckpieces with simply stunning detail. Bicycles, books and boxes with infinitesimally small hinges and punctuated with red abacus beads provide the detail for this collection of clever narrative jewellery.
Little Box Jewellery








Leanne Tamsyn Evans - Duncan of Jordanstone

Leanne uses her sister’s poems, based on her struggle with eating disorders and self-harm as an inspiration for her own jewellery collections, creating pieces that are distinctive in feel, look and texture. Leanne has produced an elegant and integrous collection of jewellery pieces, rich in detail and finish whilst being very easy to wear.

Leanne Tamsyn Evans








Scarlett Erskine - Duncan of Jordanstone

Scarlett takes the concept of surface detail to new levels with her collection of jewellery based on skin structures. Not the most glamorous of inspirations you might think,  but her jewellery pieces are rich and deep in detailed texture, creating a thoroughly engaging collection. Scarlett has also developed the pioneering concept of wearing one oversized earring alone, to stunning effect.

Scarlett Erskine









Claire Miller – Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen

Claire creates her jewellery using the stories and fables of the Scottish coastline as her inspiration. She produces the most wondrous multi-layered organic pieces with tiny pearls and jewels hidden away inside, providing a fleeting glimpse of hidden treasures. Delightful, well balanced and whimsical.

Claire Miller









Victoria Thay - Central Saint Martins

Victoria spent many hours developing a structural collection based on optics, architecture and viewpoints, experimenting until she had developed the perfect shape – a beautifully finished six-sided form. It can rest on a chain, finger or wrist and be twisted, with each of the six faces formed in a slightly different way and providing a different viewpoint. Victoria has produced an impressively developed and finished collection.

Victoria Thay









Dawn Wheeler – Sheffield Hallam

Dawn Wheeler’s designs give kinetic jewellery a distinctly personal dimension. She has specialised in the idea of creating a seat for a sphere to rest and spin and then incorporated the concept into a number of different jewellery pieces. Most fascinating are her bangles and rings which have the moveable part on the inside of the band, so that only the wearer knows about them and can idly fiddle and play with their jewellery, feeling the bearings roll around on their skin in secret!

Dawn Wheeler









Cassandra Bassett (fou..!) – Birmingham City University

Cassandra employs front line technology in the shape of CAD and laser cutting alongside more traditional fabricating techniques to produce her jewellery.  Exploring the possibilities of these techniques has produced an amazing collection of pieces best described as baroque meets gothic, with oxidized beetles wandering amongst floral golden latticework; truly spectacular.










As the GoJD did last year, we are awarding free Gold memberships to the three students whose work best reflects the mood of our times. The criteria that we are looking out for are:
•    Professionally finished pieces
•    Design innovation
•    Difference in thought
•    Wearability
•    Commercial prowess
The package of benefits, from supplier discounts to PPL insurance and promotion in the Designer Directory will provide some help to the newly graduated artists. The support from a network of other jewellers and the chance to be able to write and publish articles to the Guild should enhance the SEO on their websites and increase opportunities for networking.
We are looking for students who were keen to immediately pursue a vocation as a jewellery artist/maker and who already have an ecommerce website – we want to ensure that we are giving the awards to students who will best use the facilities on offer. Results to follow shortly………

Jayne Coulson