Handcrafted Jewellery: A Day in the life of a studio jeweller


About a studio jewellery and tutor, creating handcrafted jewellery and teaching jewellery making skills to others

 

What’s your craft?

I am a studio jeweller and tutor. I have been creating and selling jewellery for 13 years, and teaching skills & techniques through university lecturing and in Adult Education for over 10 years.

 

Kate Bajic-Composite No.1 pendant-detail-2016 Handcrafted jewellery

Kate Bajic-Composite No.1 pendant-2016 Handcrafted jewellery

Kate Bajic-Composite No.1 pendant-2016

 

What do you love about it?

I have always been interested in creative pursuits, doing an art foundation course made me realise that I wanted to work in metals so I progressed onto doing a silversmithing/jewellery degree. Making and creating gives me great pleasure, I find I like to work directly with materials and see what evolves. I am fortunate that other people in the creative industry are a sociable and friendly bunch, supporting each other on social media is an excellent way to keep in touch with what’s going on and who’s doing what, and to get feedback on the work you’re doing too.

 

Kate Bajic-Ember brooch-detail-2016 Handcrafted jewellery

Kate Bajic-Ember brooch-detail-2016

 

Making can be very relaxing and absorbing when things are going well, but it can also be very stressful and frustrating when you’re working to a tight deadline or the making process isn’t going to plan! Ultimately though it is rewarding. Creating something which has been beautifully made and finished gives a great sense of pride and achievement, which is only heightened when that piece is purchased by someone who recognises the work and love that has gone into it.

 

Kate Bajic-Ember brooch-2016 Handcrafted jewellery

Kate Bajic-Ember brooch-2016

 

 

Professional practice –

  • I have already achieved one of my goals for this year, I had a solo jewellery exhibition last year at The National Centre for Craft & Design called ‘Lichenology’ which became part of their touring exhibitions and is currently on display until May 2016 at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

  • I’m currently working as an Artist in Residence at the University of Lincoln which runs until June this year. One of my goals is to produce a collection of work in collaboration with scientists from the university’s Joseph Banks Laboratories for the end of my residency which will be displayed within the School of Life Science from September 2016

  • I’m working towards a solo jewellery exhibition at The National Centre for Craft & Design which will be in held from May – August 2017. I’m developing new designs for this and looking into creating a small collaborative book based on the exhibition which will be available to buy along side the work.

  • I am collaborating with American jeweller Karen Donovan for Exhibition in Motion, a jewellery catwalk show organised by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) which will take place in May 2016. We are currently developing new work using laser cut, embroidered paper

     

    Kate Bajic-Exhibition in Motion-development piece-2016 Handcrafted jewellery

    Lazer cut embroidered paper jewellery

Teaching –

  • I am looking to further develop the wedding ring workshop side of my business. I have been working with prospective brides & grooms for over 3 years and get real pleasure from seeing the pride and enjoyment created in the making of their own wedding bands. The pace of the day is relaxed but productive, with tuition taking place at my Leicestershire based studio. Advice and consultations take place by email or phone before the workshop to ensure the rings are just what the bride and groom envisage, and a CD of photographs from the day is given to the happy couple to keep as a memento.

Kate Bajic-Carly Petitt Taylor-Flourish pendant-2016 Handcrafted jewellery

Kate Bajic-Carly Petitt Taylor-Flourish pendant-2016

 

 

Why are these things important to you

Being any kind of sole trader can be a hard and lonely career. You have to be dedicated to what you do to succeed, and to have a passion and love for your work. For me making and teaching is what I do, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and being able to pass on my skills and experience to others is a real joy. But to keep my own practice fresh and to ensure that I am also progressing and developing it is important that I have my own career goals to work towards and this means long hours, often low or no pay, filling out a constant stream of funding and/or exhibition applications, and spending far to long marketing my practice on social media. But still, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

You can see Kate’s work online by visiting www.katebajic.co.uk

 

 

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