Research: Learning from others and understanding her markets

When Cerys began her bursary she was supported to attend some research trips to see the work of other jewellers and to find out about the different organisations and places that exhibit and sell contemporary jewellery. That way she could decide where she wanted to position her own range of jewellery. These visits helped her identify the skills development and other aspects of her business she was to work on such as price points, materials and customers.

With our artist development officer and fellow jeweller Stefanie Cheong, Cerys visited Dazzle, National Museums of Scotland and The West End Market in Edinburgh.

A visit to The National Museums of Scotland saw Cerys look at the contemporary and historic collections of jewellery. A lot of the styles she had not encountered before, with Stefanie she discussed some of the techniques and materials used to make them and drew inspiration from some of the historic jewels.

Below are some of Cerys reflections on her research visits

Dazzle Jewellery

“I visited Dazzle which is a jewellery exhibition pop up that opens at Dovecot Studios during the Edinburgh Festivals.

A lot of the jewellery was quite unusual. Much of it didn’t look like jewellery as I imagined it. I learned that I wanted to make sure that the jewellery I make is wearable everyday.”

NMS

“It was fascinating to see the unusual contemporary jewellery that can be seen on permanent display at the National Museum of Scotland.”

Image: Gold necklace Charles de Temple, courtesy NMS.

The last place we visited was the West End Market – This runs during the Edinburgh festival in August. This is the place where Cerys related to the most. She felt the jewellery was much more wearable and affordable, this is where she saw her work fitting the most.

“Visiting these very different jewellery displays gave me the opportunity to think about where I would like to exhibit and sell my jewellery. I could see there were many different ways jewellery could be appreciated and enjoyed”

On return from the visit Cerys and the team at Fife Contemporary began to research and make a structured plan on how she would develop her technical and business skills. Cerys worked with industry expert Carol Sinclair on a business plan and booked various technical making courses.