Tom Asquith is an award winning jeweller and silversmith who established his business in 2013. Tom trained at the university of Wolverhampton where he undertook a degree in applied arts and after deciding to focus on small scale metal work went on to partake in a year long residency on the Bishopland postgraduate programme where he was tutored by master craftspeople in the trade.
Tom’s signature collection is inspired by the universal language of geometry and uses the traditional metal working techniques of saw piercing and hand engraving to produce highly decorative pieces of jewellery and functional silverware that combine strong, structured shapes and patterns alongside contrasting organic, fluid lines. The pieces are constructed from hand-cut sheets of precious metal which are layered and formed to construct three dimensional pieces adding elements of colour with the use of gemstones and a variety of plated and patina finishes.
Tom offers a number of courses from his workshop. Classes run throughout the year and are limited to a class size of 2 learners at one time. There are classes available for 1-1 tuition or you can bring a friend along and learn together. Tom also runs 1 day weekend wedding ring workshops. Classes are suitable for complete beginners with no previous jewellery making experience and for those who have some experience and would like to develop their skills within set projects.
Vanessa Miller is an independent designer-maker who established her business in 2016. Vanessa hand-crafts unique precious metal jewellery ranging from small charm necklaces and earrings, to larger detailed pendants, brooches and rings; some with moving or hidden elements. Her work is inspired by nature, the wonders of the world, her travels and carefree, happy childhood memories.
Vanessa trained and graduated from the UK's prestigious School of Jewellery Birmingham (BCU) with Distinction in Jewellery and Silversmithing (HND) in 2016 and has taught jewellery making in secondary schools for the Crafts Council project ‘Make Your Future’ 2016-2019. She is a freelance jewellery tutor offering tuition from her studio, a permanent Artist Tutor at the Midlands Arts Centre and the second award winning Jeweller in Residence at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter 2019-2020.
Vanessa offers a number of courses from her workshop, running classes throughout the year. Class sizes are limited to 2 learners at one time and can be 1-1 tuition or you can bring a friend along and learn together. Vanessa also runs 1 day weekend wedding ring workshops. Classes are suitable for complete beginners with no previous jewellery making experience and for those who have some experience and would like to develop their skills within set projects.
Rita Patel has been a professional jewellery designer maker for over 20 years. Since undertaking a year long Design & Enterprise fellowship in 1996, she has been based in the JQ.
Rita loves hand making contemporary jewellery, creating bespoke and exhibition pieces with cultural themes inspired by her heritage and travels. Her Lines Collection in particular takes inspiration from the cultural practice of tying a cotton thread around the wrist at weddings that is worn day & night until it falls away.
Since 1997 Rita has been a proactive member of Centrepiece, a collective of contemporary jewellery designers and makers based in and around the Jewellery Quarter. The group stages regular exhibitions of their members' work, also reaching out to new young designers to give them the chance to show with Centrepiece.
Rita considers the Jewellery Quarter a unique place to work as it has a rich history and tradition of jewellery manufacturing that spans several hundred years. "The workshops haven’t changed much in that time and have retained kept their old charm with narrow stairways, serving hatches & nameless doors hidden amongst the streets and alleyways in the heart of the area. It now has a modern hub of designers working alongside traditional crafts people."
Roxanna Moznabi is a British-Iranian jewellery designer and goldsmith. Roxanna's pieces are a timeless and authentic reflection of her heritage and are strongly influenced by the artistic and romantic cultural history of Persian designs, motifs and architecture. She fashions elegant and charming pieces in warm colours and fluid forms in her collections, creating precious heirlooms that can be passed down through generations.
Roxanna's father moved to England from Bandar Abbas, a port on the south coast of Iran, during the Iranian Revolution. While studying he met Roxanna's mother before moving to Los Angeles after meeting, where Roxanna was born. "My first memory of jewellery was the comforting sound of my mother’s gold bangles and knowing when she was around. The bangles were given to her as a wedding gift; in Persian culture, jewellery is given on very special occasions – it is something that is passed down for generations."
"We moved back to England when I was seven years old, but it was not until my early twenties that I made my first trip to Iran. I had a yearning to be immersed in the culture that was half my own and to explore it for myself. I stayed mainly with my Grandfather and we travelled all over – from the Persian Gulf in the south, right up to the north by the Caspian Sea. The trip felt like a rite of passage and I absorbed everything around me, the warm and rich colours, the patterns of textiles and carpets, the fantastic smells, the beautiful dancing and the stunning architecture. This exposure opened my eyes and has inspired my jewellery ever since."
"Iran has a magnificent history. I have a pull to the pre-Islamic connections, the natural environment and its spirituality. I see my jewellery as a beautiful fusion between ancient Persia and the western world and the more I discover about my heritage the more I understand about myself.”