Born out of a loathing for the corporate exploitation of Black Friday Sales and Christmas marketing, #Craftmas aims to get word out about the artists, artisans and craftspeople making beautiful gifts. Why buy a mass produced piece of plastic when you can gift an exclusive and interesting piece made by a creator-maker looking to make a living.
Support #Craftmas by using it to Tweet about your favourite makers, by using the hashtag as a Christmas shopping directory or simply by retweeting!
“I love it when learners push themselves and create something that they initially didn’t feel they could achieve.”
Silver jewellery maker, designer and tutor Beccy Gillatt has a passion for kindling creativity in others. So much so that her Christmas offerings are as much her skills in encouraging new talent as they are the fine jewellery she makes.
She added: “I also love doing the one off sessions where everyone goes home really pleased with their sparkly piece of jewellery having never made anything like that before.”
Beccy first began teaching jewellery making when she was on her masters at the Royal College of Art and loved it so much she has been doing it ever since.
Trained at Bath College and Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (where her love for silverwork was born), Beccy first found her passion for metalwork at her father’s side.
She said: “My father is an engineer and can mend, build, construct and repair most things. When I was young he used to do repair work for a jewellers in Frome, Somerset.He was often tinkering away in his loft workshop doing wax carving, casting and refining gold. He inspired me to create, make and mend, and he continues to do so.”
Now Beccy’s teaching draws on the same well of inspiration as her own creativity.
“I find inspiration in everything around from the shape of leaves to the intricacies of patterns in feathers and architecture to the construction of large machinery,” she said. “I enjoy printing images for learners to be inspired by and try to encourage getting everyone to put pencil to paper and develop their own ideas from the things that inspire them.”
Recently Beccy has set up a jewellery teaching workshop in Yardley Arts, in Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire and splits her teaching time between there and her home workshop, where she offers one to one tutoring and sessions for couples to work together on projects such as wedding rings. On occasion she runs workshops in galleries and at venues chosen by customers for teaching parties and events – which she can organise for different groups.
“I have tools and will travel!” added Beccy.
To book onto Beccy’s courses visit her website for listings – prices start from £35 for an evening workshop and go up to £70 for a full day workshop. The website also showcases her two jewellery ranges – Accents – which features simple, designs in stainless steel and silver – and the delicate Flow range of fine silver filigree wires in teardrop frames.Want more #Craftmas inspirations? Beccy recommends:
“So hard to pick just one craftsperson as most of my friends are creatives and all make amazing work. Here’s just a few – Ruth Tomlinson jewellery, Hannah Louise Lamb Jewellery, Heather O’Connor, Katherine Richmond and Gareth Neal.”