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BCU alumni receives BATF Silver Goblet Award


The School of Jewellery and HND Course Director Dauvit Alexander were delighted to recently present the award-winning solid silver goblet —designed by the School’s very own students— to Kate Owen, Past President of The British Allied Trades Federation (BATF).

Dating back to 1954, the BATF Presidency was instigated to support and showcase craftsmanship and design. For the last three years, outgoing BATF Presidents have each set student briefs, seeking to promote newly qualified talent in the industry. Coordinated by Senior lecturer Jo Pond, the competition launched alongside a Faculty Live Project, which aimed to provide students the opportunity to design to commission and produce something which reflects the time of its manufacture. The Federation looked for a good professional quality design that embodies the personality of the President and was able to function holding liquid. All HND students were invited to participate to have their piece included in BATF’s silver collection.

BATF’s founder trade association’s involvement with the School of Jewellery began in 1888 when they decided to implement formal education for trainees within the industry, setting up art classes and paying 50% of members staffs’ tuition fees. The first class had 60 pupils and the initiative led directly to the founding of the school in Victoria Street. The Association announced there would be prizes for the best students work, the first of which were presented on 21st February 1889.

Speaking afterwards academic Jo said; “When the students have the opportunity to respond to a trade project brief they learn the importance of working to real-life criteria within a specific timeframe and with a fixed budget. They’re taught to create a professional rendered drawing to sell their ideas to an external panel, and appreciate honest feedback.”

HND Jewellery and Silversmithing alumni Bethan Cubbin was awarded The BATF Goblet Design Competition title for her striking design. Beth said “This was the first design competition I had ever entered and I couldn’t wait to get started. Once I received the brief about Kate’s likes and dislikes, I focussed on her enjoyment of nature and on the London plane tree, as many of its characteristics were comparable with that of the BATF— long lasting and ever changing to fit with its environment. I was completely shocked when they announced that my design had won and couldn’t wait to see my drawing come to life!”

Bethan’s winning piece was part spun by hand and part manufactured on the lathe by fellow alumni Adam Veevers, a Designer and Silversmith based in the Jewellery Quarter.

Adam said: “It has been a joy to work on Bethan’s piece. It’s an inspired design and it was great fun bringing it to life. I was so pleased when Jo asked me to carry out the project and an honour to be asked to attend the photo shoot. Great to be able to give something back to the School of Jewellery after so long! It was also a great help from a maker’s point of view to have been given a clear and concise brief in plenty of time, allowing me to give it the thought and consideration it deserved.”

After being given the goblet, Kate said: “I am delighted with Bethan’s piece, she has perfectly reflected my interests within her design. I look forward to seeing her stylish signed design and Adam’s beautiful craftsmanship added to the Federation’s prestigious collection. The high calibre of entries has been very impressive. As a trade federation representing the craftsmanship of silversmithing we’re encouraged to see innovation, design and traditional skills continuing to flourish in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.”

Competition coordinator and Senior lecturer Jo Pond concluded:

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