Blogs

Fellows of Bishopsland:
Gina Burgess 2016-2017

Bishopsland Educational Trust taught me a lot, from the smallest trick of the trade to executing a successful exhibition. It encompassed a unique way of living and working in one place, which focused and pushed my hand skills further than ever before.

I had a vastly fulfilling time studying design at Leith School of Art and at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. Those years were essential to my creative process, however Bishopsland was the next step in committing myself and pursuing jewellery and silversmithing as a career.

Living and working alongside likeminded makers at Bishopsland made all the difference. On top of having a variety of experienced tutors, I gained a lot of support and inspiration from my peers. They were always there to give me the perspective and advice I needed at the time and still are today.

Bishopsland provided us all with the opportunity to take part in numerous competitions. This was a great incentive that offered recognition, funding and tools for the winners.

I was fortunate enough to win the Goldsmith’s Company Silver Bullion Grant, which funded and initiated my first silversmithing endeavour, the ‘Continuous Candlestick’. This opportunity enabled me to explore a new technique and learn how to forge metal with Ndidi Ekubia.

We were also encouraged to exhibit and attend events in and around London, enabling us to be assertive in our ideas, presentation and ability to network. My confidence only strengthened when I managed to sell the candlestick during an exhibition. This in turn drove my ambition to invest my earnings in new work and learn new techniques in the process.

To this day I have yet to settle on one particular technique as I gain so much from exploring and absorbing all the different avenues jewellery and silversmithing have to offer.

Since leaving Bishopsland I have gravitated towards hubs of creativity and teaching environments, such as Edinburgh College of Art as an Artist in Residence and the Central Scotland School of Jewellery as a teaching assistant. I have now moved into Coburg House Studios where I hope to share what I have learnt so far and continue to develop my hand skills.

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