EDINBURGH WOMEN TO FLOURISH IN JEWELLERY DESIGN

Funded by Creative Scotland, The Flourish Jewellery Project is an exciting craft jewellery project. Working in partnership with North Edinburgh Arts and Four-Square’s Womanzone, Jewellery Artists, Lisa Arnott and Jessica Howarth have enabled women who are recovering from trauma from domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, social isolation, and economic hardship to develop new skills in jewellery design and making.

Working with a variety of organisations who support women, Lisa and Jessica created a series of outreach jewellery sessions introducing and enabling the women to make rings, pendants and bangles from silver. For these participants, being part of this project has provided a space for them to dare to dream and have a moment in their week where their creativity is realised.

From the outreach session, 12 women then went on to engage with the project on more intensive weekly jewellery and metalwork sessions. During this time, they learnt the foundations of metal and jewellery work which included saw piercing, soldering, texturing and shaping metal. Despite the various challenges the women experienced, the project has provided materials, travel and childcare alongside safe and high-quality jewellery workshops.

Having never made any jewellery out of metal at the start of the project, the women from the Flourish Jewellery Project have now produced a small collection of silver jewellery which will be on display at the project’s exhibition, which is taking place from the 22nd until the 25th of January at Custom House in Leith. The exhibition, which we are proud to sponsor, with support from the Scottish Goldsmith Trust and Scottish Historic Building Trust, will display beautifully handcrafted items.

Flourish Participant: The Flourish Jewellery Project has made me find myself. I’m shocked at who I was when I first started coming as to who I am now”

Lisa Arnott and Jessica Howarth, ‘We were both delighted to have received funding from Creative Scotland for the Flourish Jewellery Project. By working in partnership with Foursquare’s, Womenzone project and North Edinburgh Arts in Muirhouse we have been providing jewellery making opportunities for women from across the city. This project has enabled women who have experienced trauma, social isolation and/or economic challenges to develop traditional jewellery making skills.’

Earlier this Autumn the Flourish Jewellery Project was featured at The New York Jewellery Week 2021’s the ‘Power of Jewellery’ and was shortlisted for a Creative Edinburgh Award for Best in Collaboration.  Lisa and Jess have also taken part in research undertaken by University College London and Birmingham City University and collaborated with a host of local artists and designers. This has included Professor Sandra Wilson from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, furniture designer Colin Parker, web designers Erin Smith and Zena Walczynska, illustrations by Kinship Press, Photographer Shannon Tofts and Media Scotland who are co-producing a film reflecting the women’s experience of the project.

The project is now becoming a community interest company and has secured further funding to enable 6 women to continue to develop their jewellery training further.

Find out more about the Flourish Jewellery Project.