As All That Glitters returns to our screens, we caught up with Andrew Howard, Lecturer in Jewellery and Silversmithing - Design for Industry, to discuss the first episode and get further insight into the world of jewellery making.
Lecturer, School of Jewellery
"All that glistens is not gold.", and this is still true for series two of All That Glitters, as some of the glisten is silver and diamonds, with some smiles and top tips thrown in too!
Last night saw the long-awaited return of All That Glitters to BBC Two at 9pm, with week one focusing on the jewellers and their amazingly unique talent.
Steve Ali inspired us all with his story of coming from war-torn Syria and learning to make his jewellery in the Calis Jungle. We met Emma White and Jack Mitchell, both experienced jewellers, David Dilly took up jewellery making only recently and is predominantly self taught, while Piers Carpenter and Tianne Simmons are on apprenticeship schemes alongside master jewellers, with Tianne also studying at the British Academy of Jewellery.
Nyanda Yekwai and Bonnie Hay make up the final eight, with Bonnie being a graduate of our very own School of Jewellery and working as a Technician at BCU's City Centre Campus, and Nyanda working from a home studio.
New judge Dinny Hall lit up the studio with her smile and laughter, and was a pleasure to work alongside. Shaun Leane returned with an extravagant wardrobe – can you guess the theme each week? – and Katherine Ryan returned as host, to get involved in all things Jewellery and with her all-important timer!
The judging format is a big change, with the contestants now knowing where they rank on the Saturday evening, so they have time to consider anything they need to focus on in the bespoke challenge. The talent is high and both judges have a view on what they’re looking for – we saw the return of Shaun’s eye loupe picking up on the fine details and hidden issues. Steve’s comment really tickled us while watching his feedback with the judges, did you hear it?
The winning design of the bespoke challenge was elegant and fitting for the brief with the hidden detail a favourite on the day.
Some of the jewellers are very new to the skill set while others have been working towards their master levels for many years, yet all are set the same challenges with the same, very tight, timescales. How do they cope? Well! They all rose the challenge and smashed it.
What will the coming episodes bring? Who will win? Who will be chosen by the client and who will leave the workshop each week? Tune in to find out more every Thursday and don’t forget you can catch up or watch again on BBC iPlayer afterwards.
Huge congratulations to each and every jeweller taking part this year. Being selected from over 100 applicants to join the final eight, and to have filmed this during the issues that Covid threw up, deserves a huge round of applause.