My story, Lucy Martin – Jewellery Designer

I always knew I would do something involving art. Ever since I was tiny, even before starting nursery school, my mum would give me piles of paper and encourage me to draw and make things. So when I left school I went to do a two year General Art and Design course at my local college in Epsom (now part of UCA) and then on to The University of Central England in Birmingham where I did an HND in Design Crafts, concentrating on silversmithing and jewellery.

My work at college was always ‘body-centric’; there was always some aspect of the body in it and my sketchbooks would show that I generally work in a small scale, very much focussed on detail. My professional work now, although still small scale, is informed by architecture and cityscapes, interiors and music.

I benefited from some great tutors and developed really good craft skills but we were not given much guidance on making the transition into business or how to run a business. But after college, and still doing a few part-time jobs to make ends meet, I eventually was able to share a studio with a professional silversmith and learnt a lot about running a business and how I could make a living from my work. Over a period of three years I built up my knowledge and reached a transition point; it was time to go full-time and set up my own jewellery business. In 2002 I moved into my studio at Cockpit Arts.

I show at about half a dozen retail shows a year and at goldsmith’s fares and I produce bespoke pieces, mainly rings, which involve precious metals and stones.


 

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I think anyone who wants to set up a business and be self-employed has to be comfortable with the idea that there may be periods of famine and feast. You have to be very focussed with a particular kind of dogged mentality. But if you are creative and have the required craft skills, and you can develop the right business skills, I would recommend it.

Visit Lucy’s website: www.lucymartin.co.uk