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!




Better together!

We’ve been hard at work on the final details for the map, and reading through everyone who is taking part is making us feel really, really happy!

As you will know from previous blogs we are all about sharing skills here in the Jewellery Quarter but many gallerys go that one stage further and support a whole raft of makers and designers. Today we will look at 3 Jewellery Gallerys and a pub!

Guildsman chandelier

Run by master craftsmen Sarah Leighton and Mark Hampton Guildsman Gallery is a permanent retail venue for makers of the finest quality contemporary fine jewellery and handmade silverware. See the work of 14 jewellers and take part in their “build a bracelet” workshop and then admire your work whilst sipping a cup of tea and a slice of cake. A fantastic space where the work on display outshines even the the largest chandelier.

artisan alchemy

As well as displaying the work of 5 jewellery designers, Artisan Alchemy also has space for jewellers to rent a bench, but it does not stop there the gallery provides support and mentoring for the bench workers who are often fresh from their training at The School of Jewellery. Fine jewellery and fine furniture share this we crafted gallery space.

artfull expression

Artfull Expression exhibits the work of over 60 designers and makers from right here in the Jewellery Quarter and beyond. A treasure trove of a shop come and see a jeweller at work on the bench and view all that this contemporary jewellery trade has to offer. Check out the website and see highlighted designers each month and learn about how and why this gallery really is the home of independent design.

ham and asparagus

It’s hard to believe that 1000 Trades has only been open for one year, during that time they have hosted maker markets, exhibited local art, been home to local artisan food pop ups, begun their own brewing club and much much more. This year 1000 Trades again hosts local poetry publisher The Emma Press, exhibits local artists work and even has a walking tour up its sleeve for Sunday. Talking of sleeves Birmingham Independent Record fair are again their guests on Saturday.

So sharing really is caring here in the Jewellery Quarter, we will be back tomorrow with more makers who will be taking part in our 3rd Open Studios on 29th and 30th July.






Brew, Brew Electric Brew

Not only home to some of the best contemporary jewellers in the world (yes I mean it) we are also home to a trade that has also stood the test of time, so much so that it has it’s own festival that links into ours quite nicely!

The art and craft of brewing can be seen at one of our three breweries that we have on the Open Studios trail.

rock and roll

Home to Birmingham Citys only Brewster, Rock and Roll Brewhouse welcomes everyone who loves beer and music. If you visited them last year then you are in for a treat as time and art has treated them kindly. Be sure to view their art ceiling as well as their new extension.

burning soul

A great addition to our brewing and open studio scene is Burning Soul, a tap room in front of their brewing house where you can sample the ales, alongside an interesting history. This unit used to be where Two Towers brewed away and you may have visited this site for the last two open studios for a tour around their brewery but……………….


Two Towers brewery has now moved down the road and taken up residence in The Gunmakers Arms! See the brewery, hear about the trade and see how they have transformed this pub into their very own tap! Its great to see the move and also to welcome The Gun Quarter to our Open Studios map (well there will be an arrow to it!!), thanks to Two Towers for still supporting us.

Now brewing is a very busy business but in the lead up to Jewellery Quarter Open Studios Burning Soul and Two Towers will be taking part in Birmingham Beer Week so you now have two reasons to come along. Curation of your work is really important to showcase what you have so alongside our designers and makers The Wolf  will be carefully curating beers for Beer week, be sure to pop in and see art by local artists too.


The Jewellery Quarter is very proud of its pubs and bars so much so that it has its own ale trail which is being updated for the Jewellery Quarter Festival so do ask the volunteers for a copy when you visit.




5 More for you to discover all in one place!

Tina Francis runs Jewellery Quarter Open Studios, having cut her teeth running  Central Trail in Brighton as part of their Artists Open Houses (the oldest open trail and still the best!) when she returned to Birmingham a few years ago she knew it was something she wanted to do right here. After a trial run at Custard Factory which was well attended she was ready to tackle the Jewellery Quarter!

“Being a maker gives me a head start when running an event like this and as Open Studios had been run here in the past by Centrepiece I also have the legacy to build on and of course the expertise from those that ran it before. JQBid have supported me throughout. Whilst the Jewellery Quarter is famed for metal I wanted the Open Studios to reflect the diverse trades and makers that call the Jewellery Quarter home so you will find fine artists, leather workers, tapestry makers, hair and makeup designers, chocolate makers and many more trades behind closed doors.”

“Skill sharing is something we do well here in the Jewellery Quarter and so this year in my studio I will be inviting different makers and community groups to join me when I open the doors to invite you to “come see what we do “, here they all are (plus me!)!”

Shelanu Black enamel sparrow range

Shelanu is a developing social enterprise of migrant and refugee women working with Craftspace producing high quality craft objects inspired by their new home, the city of Birmingham.

deborette b18 leather

Local leather company B18 Leather uses the finest quality leather and findings to create beautiful small leather goods with a funky painted edge.

ruth green

Image copyright Ruth Green

Ruth Green is a printmaker based in Birmingham, UK. She produces exquisite, colourful silkscreen prints by hand. Her work is inspired by mid-century design and pattern and by the British countryside.

Where Wool Meets image 1

Where Wool Meets is a collaborative group that has wool at its core. Wool is what joins us but our practices are so very different, machine knit, stitch, wire, sculpture, hand knit and print all play their part. Judith Watson, Suraya Hossian, Tina Francis.

spring hill stitchers

Spring Hill Stitchers is a community stitch group that meets every Saturday at Spring Hill Library, their most recent project funded by Ageing Better in Birmingham is “Flags of Ladywood” and aims to celebrate all who live here. (Contact Tina Francis for more details)

tina francis

Tina Francis will be have small and large tapestry needlepoint squeezed into the rest of the space!!!