Starter Studio: Silversmith & Jewellery

To foster new talent and support early career artists, Yorkshire Artspace runs two Starter Studio Programmes in Sheffield: one for Designer Silversmiths & Jewellers and one for Ceramicists.

Designed to help ambitious and entrepreneurial artists at an early career stage to develop their skills and creative enterprises in a supportive environment, the programmes offer access to shared workspace and equipment, technical and mentor support, business advice and occasional commission and exhibition opportunities.

The Starter Studio Programme for Silversmiths & Jewellers was established in January 2002. Delivered from a fully equipped silversmith workshop at the award winning Persistence Works Studios, over 80% of the silversmiths who have completed the programme have set up their own silversmith workshop.

Key Features of the 2 year programme include:

  • 24/7 access to shared fully equipped studio space
  • Access to technical and mentor support
  • Face to face business advice and support
  • Bursary to undertake online training via The Design Trust
  • 'Precious Little Gems' commission and ocasional exhibition/showing opportunities
  • Free hallmarking and makers stamp whilst on the programme via Sheffield Assay Office
  • Cost £120 per month (inclusive of heat/power) plus 1 month bond repayable on leaving the programme
  • Receive a 20% discount on regular studio rental for 2 years from completion of the programme (subject to studio availability)

The Starter Studio mentors are all experienced, nationally known silversmiths and/or jewellers, including include Brett Payne, Chris Knight, Maria Hanson, Rebecca Joselyn, Coilin O’Dubhghaill and Jennie Gill.

In 2014 our technical design expert and skills trainer Cameron Maxfield, who offers support to all our programme beneficiaries on a weekly basis, won the prestigious Marsh Heritage Skills Trainer Award. In 2013 we were also shortlisted for The Craft Skills Award; watch the film commissioned especially for the award, featuring Starters Colette Bishop and Zoe Watts, mentor Brett Payne and technical expert Cameron Maxfield.

"Having established and renowned silversmiths as our mentors has given us a better sense of direction. Because they share their knowledge and experience so openly, it has really helped with determining how to take the first and often frightening steps to setting up our own silversmithing businesses" Sarah Denny, Silversmith (and previous beneficiary of the programme)

Current Starter Studio Holders:

Former Starter Studio Holders:

The programme is sponsored by Sheffield Assay Office who commissioned work by participants between 2004 -2014 to create the Little Gems Collection. Little Gems was exhibited in full to over 10,000 visitors at the Goldsmiths Centre in London in 2015 and will be shown again in Museum Sheffield’s Metalwork Gallery in 2016.

In the second year on the programme all makers are offered the opportunity to apply for the 'Precious Little Gems' Commission Award via Sheffield Assay Office in partnership with Yorkshire Artspace. Launched in 2014 (to complement the Little Gems awards est. 2002) this is the start of a new collection of fine silverware which will be shown at Millennium Galleries through our partnership with Museums Sheffield.

"I am extremely proud of what has been achieved over the last 9 years and delighted that the programme has contributed significantly to Sheffield's aim to remain the UK centre for innovative metalwork design and craftsmanship." Ashley Carson, Assay Master, Sheffield Assay Office

Historically renowned throughout the world as a centre of excellence for the cutlery industry, Sheffield still has a thriving infrastructure for the silversmithing sector and many established silversmiths have workshops either at Yorkshire Artspace or elsewhere in the city.

Sheffield is a friendly and lively city with a population of approx. 700,000. Located on the boundary of the stunning Peak District National Park, Sheffield has great transport links (approx. 2 hours to London and approx 1 hour to Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Leeds by train). It is claimed that Sheffield has more artists than any other city in England apart from London and this is reflected in the number of studio groups in the city. Sheffield is a great place to get your creative career started and we are happy to help you find your way around if you are new to the city. Visit Our Favourite Places for more info.

HOW TO APPLY

We are able to provide support for two ceramicists each year. For further information and how to apply, please download and read our Starter Studio Application Pack.

We welcome applications throughout the year and all applications will be considered as they are received and places offered accordingly. There is an overall cut-off deadline of 9am 10th April for the Starter Studio programme commencing in the respective October.

We strongly recommend that you visit our facilities before submitting an application. The Starter Studio Open Day takes place during our annual Open Studios event in November and we advise applicants use the opportunity to explore our facilities, chat with studio holders and ask any questions.

Please contact Rachael Dodd, Programme Manager at Yorkshire Artspace with any queries, on 0114 2130111 or rachael@artspace.org.uk

If you’d like to submit an application, please download and complete the Starter Studio Application Pack.

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