My Jewellery Journey

My Jewellery Journey


I started my jewellery journey in 2002 when I began my Jewellery, Silversmithing and allied crafts degree at London Metropolitan University (formerly Sir John Cass) The jewellery studios were on the top floor of a building at the end of the famous Brick Lane, the perfect spot for an after uni curry! From the 4th floor workshops we watched the Gherkin being built in the city. Nearby was @work gallery, a contemporary jewellery gallery, now located in Pimlico and one of my stockists. During my degree I took work experience with Shaun Leane and Gill Forsbrook. During my time at Shaun's I learnt about cleaning castings and creating multiples of designs. With Gill I learnt about running a small business alongside mastering skills with plastics and silver. These experiences were invaluable.

Starting out

Whilst completing my degree I studied to gain a basic teaching qualification so I could run evening classes after graduating. I taught jewellery classes over the next 15 years at various locations.

After exhibiting at New designers I had a few opportunities to exhibit and this gave me the push to create a collection and to continue making. I continue to seek exhibitions, new stockists and selling events, these give me the push to create new designs.


Over the years my studios have varied massively from tiny cupboards, corners of rooms, under stair nooks, garages and even a tiny space at the back of my husbands fish and chips shop. I am very lucky to now have a garden studio just for me to create jewellery in (it also means I can make a lot of mess and no one can see it)

A Jewellery Job

In 2019 I started working at Polkadot Gallery as a gallery assistant alongside continuing to make my own work. I feel extremely lucky to have found a job I love just a short train ride away in Exeter. Over time I've taken on the social media and marketing role as well as working in the gallery. I really enjoy being surrounded by contemporary jewellery and my colleagues. I have learnt a huge amount whilst working at Polka as each jeweller they stock is completely different and we have a lot of commission work to manage.

Next steps

As a maker I don't think I'll ever be finished learning skills and pushing my design and making abilities. I'm happy continuing to create and make new designs, I have a new collection I'm hoping to launch in March. I really do love my job 💛 

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1 comment

Hello hello Claire 👋🏻

Just a quick question for you….

Do you, or will you be running any jewellery making classes?

Loving your story and work!

Im a fellow Exmothian and i like the idea of a little side husstle..

Many thanks, Laura.

Laura McLachlan

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