Thinking about a local festive season

Square flyer front

Notice anything new?!!! Oh yes we have a new logo and also a new time for you all to visit.

This year 9th and 10th December sees us opening our doors for the first time in the winter there are some great makers that are inviting you in to “come see what we do”. Here we look at 5 makers that will opening up.

As well as setting up their regular workshops The Dual Works have been really busy this year working on collabs across the city but they have still somehow found the time to launch a brand new light range incorporating formica and ply. The lights are named after streets right here in the Jewellery Quarter.

Another person whose feet very rarely seem to hit the ground is Alyn Waterman, last week he ran a live make-up workshop with none other than Joan Collins herself. This time Alyn will be introducing his new “shop” space as well as advising us all about our festive hair and make up.

Rhiannon Lewis has been experimenting with more precious stones this year, we have really enjoyed seeing stones set in yellow gold as well as silver. Form and line as always influence her designs which are becoming stronger all the time.

Downstairs from Rhiannon is Eleni Zolia of Zolia jewellery, the sculptural quality of her work blends between real and imagined worlds, semi precious stones nestle and float within the highly polished silver shapes.

Sarah Hazell is a knitwear designer and exhibits around the country but hails from right here in Birmingham. Her patterns and kits are extremely popular alongside her knitting accessories line. Sarah will be at Unti 7 Pitsford Street, where Tina Francis is again inviting makers from around Birmingham to show that Craft builds community.

So that’s the first five, we will be adding more real soon. Not enough images in this blog? Then just go to our Instagram and facebook sites for more images.

See you soon!




Festive fun!!


It can get cold this time of year in the workshops and studios around the Jewellery Quarter but that does not mean we shut up shop and take the winter off! Many of the makers and designers are off to fairs and shows around the country selling their wares and meeting customers and suppliers. As usual we are dotted around the UK but this year on 9th and December many of us will be right back here in Birmingham as we run our first ever Winter Open Studios.

Expect jewellery, leather, textiles and homewares alongside the usual mix of on street jewellery retailers.As it is the festive season there will be many a gift idea including a full list of workshops for you to take part in in 2018.

We will be blogging again this week bringing you the names in the frames!

Save the date and don’t forget that on Sundays throughout December parking in the multi-storey car park is free.

Sparkle this Festive right here in the jewellery Quarter

It’s not over until it’s over


BPN Architects Cinema – looked like this but with real people!

Have just met with JQBid to discuss just how great JQ Open Studios was this year. You came in your droves to both the festival and the Open Studios. So a big thank you from us!

Plans are well underway for next year when we are hoping that more venues will open on the Sunday too. It was great to welcome you and talk about making, craft and art and we hope that we have gone some way to show you that a career in making is still possible here in what was once the City of 1000 Trades.

Many of the studios you visited are open by appointment so do get back in touch with them if you want to commission work, discuss your wedding plans, need a light or want to sign up to the many workshops we run here during the year.

We will be at the beginning of September with more news about future events but until then here is the link to the map!


Sweet Caroline Street

We are going to have a quick tour around a few streets in the next couple of days, today we are looking at Caroline Street and nearby. Wending its way from St Pauls Square right up to Warstone Lane Caroline Street is one of the main thoroughfares in the Jewellery Quarter and has been enhanced over recent years to include a tree lined boulevard. Home to some fantastic small businesses there is also a lot going on Open Studio wise.

bug jewellery

Ellie Ingram of Bug Jewellery (Number 12 on the Map) sees the world just a little differently to most of us. She revels in the detail and injects it with fun, making small things is what she excels at. She shares her studio with Kate Gilliland who creates jewellery from found objects, her work celebrates the life of the small detail and so whilst their styles are very different the links between them are very strong.

artisan alchemy

Artisan Alchemy (number 8 on the map) have a big bold window onto Caroline Street, nature in all its forms is portrayed in the jewellery on display alongside modern british furniture that celebrates the materials as much as the finished forms.


Just off Caroline street on Mary Street is where BPN Architects (number 11 on the map) call home. Regular visitors to Jewellery Quarter Open studios will remember crazy golf and “knock down Brum”, this year the loading bay is being turned into a cinema. Yes thats right BPN are running their very own film festival on Saturday 29th!

i made it - large - flattened

Dual Works on Kenyon Street (number 19 on the map) have had a really busy year since you visited them last time. International exhibitions, pavilion collaborations and teaching do not seem to have got int their way. Earlier this year they launched their I Made It workshops where they have shared their skills and taught many people just how to get to grips with making it yourself. See information about their upcoming courses alongside their lighting range (Quarterlight) launch. This is so top secret that not even we have been privy to the designs! Shine on!

Caroline Street is long! We’ve got a few more to share!


On Regents Place opposite Matthew Boultons old house lies Visuale (number 49 on the map) who have also been skill sharing this year with their art classes, learn about these and also see the work of local artist Dee Manning. After a successful solo show yearlier in the year expect to see some new exciting work.

rock and roll brewhouse

Thirsty? Also on Regents Place you will find Rock and Roll Brewhouse (number 37 on the map), new comers to the trail last year they have gone from beer strength to beer strength and have extended into another workshop. Brewed on site learn about their different ales and how being vegan really is the way forward.

Two more to go!

stans cafe

Stans Cafe (number 43 on the map) on Northwood Street is a theatre company that devises original productions in the Jewellery Quarter before touring them internationally. As well as getting a chance to see their theatre and learn about what they do look out for the Commentators (above) who will be reporting on the festival throughout the weekend.

Also on Northwood Street be sure to pop into St Pauls Gallery (number 42 on the map) the worlds leading retailer in signed limited edition album prints. Lots to see here alongside some great advise on framing and display.

st pauls

Phew all of that on just one street! See the online copy of the map here 


Gotta tell the children

We’ve talked a lot about sharing skills and how craft builds a community so today lets look at that next generation of makers and see what they have in store for us in Jewellery Quarter Open Studios.

ADP for blog

ADP Architecture have been working hard on an activity map that encourages children to become an archi-tective for the day! Sponsored by RIBA the activity map has different buildings to spot and questions to ask as your family wanders around the Jewellery Quarter. This is a great way to introduce the practice of architecture and as I’ve seen the map it is great for adults too!

makinf gif

Vittoria Street Gallery is nestled in the heart of the School of Jewellery, there is always a great exhibition happening but on 29th July you’ll be able to see something of the future! Make your future is a Crafts Council project that will see up to 48 schools take part in the project that encourages making as a career. See the work of local schools who have worked with jewellers to create some spectacular work.


Craft and making are at the heart of Argent College which delivers Practical Skills Therapeutic education to 16-25 year olds. As well as traditional crafts the college also has it’s own cafe where the produce served has been grown on their roof. The roof top micro farm is a joy to see and alongside their in house bakery teaches skills that will be useful throughout their students lives. On Saturday 29th at 315, 16 and 1645 there will be tours of the allotment. It is a sight to behold with so much packed into the space. Book on Eventbrite here

We’ll be back tomorrow with some more makers and designers, be sure to follow us on twitter @jqopenstudios


Doing it for themselves

We are looking at designer makers today and more specifically jewellers. As they need light many of our makers are up steep stairs but it really is worth the climb!

kate smith

Its really interesting to learn what inspires our makers for Kate Smith it is her enjoyment of the outdoors and what nature hols. A great observer her jewellery is full of texture and movement and the tinier details of plants and flowers.


Fluid lines. sharp architecture and the finest gems can be found in the work of Rhiannon Lewis. Working to commission as well as developing new collections do not miss her latest clean designs.


Graceful shapes, texture and most importantly a great sense of balance are what Becca Williams brings to her work. Every piece has a story, a visit to her studio will reveal both her inspiration and a fantastic view!


Award winning designer Collette Waudby uses motifs from her travels and history combined with the technical exploration of archaic metal forging and forming techniques. Join her in Branston Court this year where you can stamp your own initials and words on to unique silver forms (from £5).

We hope you enjoy exploring the websites of these fantastic crafts people and maybe you will notice another connection – there seems to be an awful lot of tea drunk by this lot!

Jewellery Quarter Open Studios – Come see what we do.






Art so Fine

As well as being home to Birminghams only remaining Georgian Square (St Pauls Square) we are also really lucky to have our own cluster of art gallerys and St Pauls Square seems to be where they congregate! Open all year round we are really pleased that our gallerys are taking part in Jewellery Quarter Open Studios once more.


Argentea Gallery has been open for less than a year but in that time it has delivered some fantastic exhibitions, the gallery is dedicated to showing the very best contemporary photography from both British and International artsists. The gallerys aim is to support the careers of both emerging and established artists by promoting an awareness and appreciation of contemporary photography. This is a really special space.


Craft, Sculpture and fine art collide in the RBSA. The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists is an artist-led charity which supports the artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of inclusive activities. On 29th Robert Page will be in residence demonstrating how he creates his striking sculptures and on 30th Paul Brown will be showing how he devises and creates his figurative pieces, see his sketch books and photos that inspire his practice.

st pauls

St Pauls Gallery is the worlds leading leading retailer in signed limited edition album cover fine art. With over 100 album covers on display there is sure to be an image that brings back happy memories of your musical past. David Bowie is in there along with Led Zepplin, Queen and many more. Music and art combine in this fantastic space be sure to give them a visit.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more participants, see you then!