Metal and Jewellery Arts MA
Anne wanted to study a postgraduate degree to explore her creativity and love for metalwork. She discovered her own style and with the support of staff at the School of Jewellery, started her own business that offers a unique experience to her customers.
“I’ve always loved being creative and studied my undergraduate degree in the US at a liberal arts college. I studied different art mediums through university, trying to figure out the right medium for me. I discovered metalwork and fell in love with it. I majored in metals and started working as a repair jeweller for a company called Signet after graduation.
I enjoyed the role and getting to work with metals every day, but I knew I wanted to further my skillset in jewellery and get the chance to use my ideas in metalwork now that I’d found my medium. Studying a Master’s seemed like the clear next step for me to move forward in my career.
I’d heard about Birmingham because of the historic Jewellery Quarter, the home to BCU’s School of Jewellery. The prospect of studying somewhere that is renowned for its jewellery was really exciting. I knew I wanted to stay in the UK after my MA and being able to make connections in the Jewellery Quarter would be the best way to do that.
Being at the School of Jewellery had a great community feel. There was a lot of collaboration with other students and specialists from BCU and businesses in the Jewellery Quarter. I never felt alone in my studies, as there was always someone to ask for advice or something with a different skill set to me that could teach me something new.
The MA was very explorative. There was a lot more research than I initially anticipated, but I enjoyed that aspect as it helped me understand what I wanted to create and how to do it. There was a big focus on finding yourself as an artist and finding your place in the industry. It helped me explore the contemporary side of jewellery and play around with metalwork in a way I never had the chance to before.
I also learned a lot about the commercial side of the jewellery industry, I developed an interest in this and realised a way to fuse my passion for contemporary jewellery design and my knowledge of the commercial side of the industry was to start my own business.
Building my business has taken a year of development so far. It has been tough at times, but I knew I wanted to create something new in the industry that would promote change and now the business is up and running, I’m really proud to be doing that. Co-Creative offers a unique design experience to change the way that people design custom engagement rings, it’s rewarding to help people’s visions come to life and create meaningful pieces of jewellery for them.
The industry knowledge I developed on the course was invaluable for starting my own business. Plus, knowing the different suppliers in the Jewellery Quarter was vital during the first stages of business development, and they’re connections I’ll maintain for life.
Even working on my business now, I’ve had so much support from the staff in the School of Jewellery – a lot of the staff are business owners or work in industry, so they understand the ups and downs of running a business. I’m not just a student to them, I’m someone who they want to help succeed.
To me, ‘I am BCU’ means forever being part of a supportive community that encourages you to express yourself and achieve great things.”