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Special weekend shines a light on craft and design

Designer makers from all over the country will join the executive director of the UK’s Craft Council for a weekend dedicated to craft and design at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Saturday and Sunday (September 4 and 5) sees the 25th anniversary of Contemporary British Silversmiths, with live demonstrations open to the public, a pop-up exhibition of work and the chance to find out about training as a maker.


On the Saturday there will be a day packed with panel discussions and keynote talks from successful artists, backed by the Goldsmiths Centre in London. It is based at DMU’s Vijay Patel Building and the Gallery.

It has all been organised by DMU lecturer Rajesh Gogna, who is an award-winning contemporary artist, silversmith and jeweller. His family have been silversmiths for generations.

He said: “I’m delighted that DMU is hosting this event to mark such a special anniversary year for the Contemporary British Silversmiths, celebrating 25 years of supporting silversmiths, highlighting the work of our members and looking to the future of the craft.

“As part of the Design Crafts team at DMU, we all share our experiences and skills with our students and we would encourage them to attend and network with members.

“We hope to see as many people as possible to our open event on Sunday to look behind the scenes and meet our makers, some of whom are DMU graduates who are now running successful businesses.”

Contemporary British Silversmiths was launched in 1996 by a core group of makers determined to give a voice to a new generation of silversmiths. The two days will include a full day of speakers, discussion panels and breakout sessions, a pop-up exhibition of maker’s current work (Show & Tell), an evening dinner and networking opportunities, the AGM, an insight to CBS Skills Training Programme for makers and practical silversmithing demonstrations for families and the general public.

Saturday’s speakers include Rachael Colley, an interdisciplinary artist who is a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University; international jewellery artist Anastasia Young and award-winning silversmith and jeweller Paul Wells who will all be discussing their careers and inspirations as designer makers.

Rosy Greenlees OBE, executive director of the Crafts Council, which promotes craft businesses all over the country, will share her thoughts on the future of the industry in discussion chaired by Mr Gogna.

Among the designers giving demonstrations on Sunday will be designer maker Emma Jane Rule. She studied at DMU and on graduating joined The Crucible, a two-year programme that supports students and alumni who want to turn their business ideas into reality. 

Posted on Thursday 2nd September 2021

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