Inspired by... Success
With entries now open for Inspired by... next year we look at to 2014's exhibition winners. We've caught up with Morley student Roxanne Gilbert who won the National Institute for Adults Continuing Education (NIACE) prize to find out what creative developments she has undergone since then.
What did winning Inspired by… 2014 do for you?
Learning how to do something you love is such an amazing feeling and being recognised for doing it well is so rewarding. Winning the Inspired by… competition in 2014 gave me the confidence to try and turn my passion for jewellery making into my career.
What are you doing now?
I am in the process of finishing my debut collection which I hope to launch alongside my new website in time for Christmas. Alongside developing a body of work for this I have also been busy making commissions - I have been lucky enough to do a few engagement rings and wedding bands this summer which has been lovely. I regularly post pictures of my work on my facebook and instagram accounts and I get lots of feedback and enquiries through these. I continue to attend short courses at Morley to add to my skill set and have been applying for selling opportunities and showcasing events. I was recently a finalist in the EC One Platinum Unsigned competition which was really encouraging as I was up there with Central Saint Martins undergraduates.
How have you progressed?
I found a love for wax carving and casting through making my Inspired by… piece and I am learning to master it! Although we covered a lot on the Jewellery Certificate course, there’s so much to learn so this technique was still relatively new to me at the time. Turns out it’s the perfect medium to produce my designs and I am really enjoying exploring and experimenting with it. I have set up a workshop and invested in lots of lovely tools and have been developing my ability and refining my personal style. I have come so far, not just in terms of technical understanding and ability but also in confidence. The jewellery industry is so competitive and its scary putting yourself out there – but I have learned that there will be knock backs and people who don’t like what you do but you can't please everyone, and this is all part and parcel of doing something creative which means a lot to you. Making jewellery is my therapy – it excites me and makes me happy and the most important thing is that I am enjoying it. Which I am.