January 2018

Over on Instagram I’m looking back over my business so far, celebrating my 20 years via #ThrowbackThursday. The story so far . . .

Pieces from my Degree Show at Edinburgh College of Art in 1997 where I received a BA (Hons) in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Followed by an Artist in Residence at ECA for a year when I was granted a Start Up Award from the Scottish Arts Council to set up my business, which is where it all began!

Since my Degree Show I have continued to love working with a mix of surfaces and materials. I originally worked with strips of plain and printed silver, printed with handwriting found in postcards I had been collecting, finding in those amazing Edinburgh book shops. I added in a contrasting mix of black with silver, gold plated silver which I would mix with oxidising to highlight the writing, strips of paper from old books, some enamel in turquoises and creams and gold leaf.

I wanted to include some sketch book work from the time too, design and drawing books. I often took myself to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, not because my work was influenced by nature, but because it was a great place to exercise my drawing with free flowing organic lines and markings, to loosen up as my influences came from the city, the urban environment that is more structured. Gold leaf often turned up in my sketch books, overlapping postcard handwriting and scratched back to give some ageing.

Moving on a couple of years, the colour palette has continued with the black and white with hints of paper neutrals, gold leaf and hints of turquoise enamel, and still using strips. When I look back I remember spending a week at a time making so many strips of different lengths with the different textures and surface finishes, all piled up for difference purposes and then a week of constructing and riveting. So many rivets.

Another selection from the next design books with enamel samples, printed papers, design ideas and drawings of part made musical instruments as I was sharing a studio with an instrument maker and I worked with cellos and violins practically draping over my shoulders. I love the part-made and work in progress feel, sketches by artists, showing the bones and construction of all creative things.

A series of brooches coming up as I started to make with the postcards that I had only bought for inspiration so far, and to take from them the handwriting to print into the metals. Layering with metalwork and riveting the layers together. All my brooches are one-offs, then and still and I love being absorbed in making them. I am dying to get into a new series . . .

Some early press coverage . . .

I was so honoured to be asked by two jewellers I admired, to be in their new book ‘Teach Yourself Jewellery’ by Emma Gale and Ann Little. I was amongst some great jewellery of the time, lots of recent ECA graduates and a book that I still have in the workshop today.

Teach yourself jewellery making 1 2000Teach yourself jewellery making 2 2000

Edinbrugh Guide Dazzle 1997Elite Issue 4 1998Sainsburys Jan 98


20 years as a Jeweller

Clare Hillerby Jewellery is 20 years old! What! I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1997, followed by a year as Artist in Residence at ECA. I was then granted a Start Up Award from the Scottish Arts Council to set up my business in Edinburgh, where I lived and worked for about 18 years. These are pieces made for my Degree Show, based on handwriting from the start, using papers, etching, roll printing and enamelling.

Recent New Things

A little catch up with jewels that I’ve been creating over the last couple of months. Some are available from me at my Studio / Shop (just email for further details) or on my online shop where I am currently offering Free Delivery on purchases from now until Wednesday 20th December, which is the last purchasing date to ensure it arrives in time for Christmas.

Derelict pendants . . .

Contrasting metalwork fragments in black or white silver with a semi-precious bead for a spot of colour. Here with garnet, yellow opal and carnelian.

£80 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Fragment Pendants . . .

Brand new pendants in black or white, featuring four larger contrasts of metalwork

£70 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Four overlapping ovals necklace . . .

Two holey ovals and two plain ovals overlap and are secured at the tips with a gold rivet. Featured here with rough cut semi-precious labradorite beads and available in black or white

£110 (online) or Two ovals (one holey and one plain) on chain instead of beads £54 (at the Studio / Shop)

Paper Dot Pendants . . .

Maps and stamps contained in an oxidised silver setting and suspended on a long chain

£55 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Tiny Ovals Studs . . .

Little ovals with paper texture are secured at the tips with gold tube rivets

£30 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Three Large Elements Necklace . . .

A one-off special necklace created by combining an oval of old paper, an oval of old wooden ruler and a pierced, holey oval. All brought together with semi-precious apatite beads

£235 (online only)

Palette Brooch . . .

A little dish of mixed fragments, dot of ruler, dot of Mother of Pearl, linear strip, chevron oval and dots of gold

£130 (from studio/shop)

Mixed Fragment Studs . . .

A playful mix of chevron oval and bowl in oxidised silver, alongside an organic oval of gold

£120 (from Studio / Shop)

Holey Oval and MOP Studs . . .

Oxidised holey oval studs with an antique Mother of Pearl button stitched in place

£36 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

MOP Dot Studs . . .

Antique Mother of Pearl buttons on oxidised silver disks, stitched in place

£27 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

MOP and Holey Oval Earrings . . .

Long holey ovals suspended beneath studs of antique Mother of Pearl buttons on oxidised silver disks

£80 (from Studio / Shop)

Holey Ovals and Ruler Dot Earrings . . .

Holey ovals are suspended beneath circles of old wooden rulers

£80 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Ruler Pendants . . .

Large and small dots, oval and raindrops in old wooden rulers, linked to long oxidised silver chains

£36 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

The Great Northern in progress

We have been working away at MCDC to prepare for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. I have been working on some new pieces and have been lucky enough to have some one to one stone setting teaching to add something new to my work, and I’m hooked!

GNCCF opens tonight with a special private view if you’d like to join us, or we will be open from tomorrow until Sunday (12 – 15 October)

. . . some of my work in progress, some finished pieces, and setting up our stand yesterday at Upper Campfield Market . . .

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

Thirteen makers from Manchester Craft & Design Centre are busy creating new work for this years, 10th anniversary Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

The makers work in various disciplines and will be showcasing their jewellery, textiles, silversmithing, pewter, glass and leather on Stand 20. This is an important annual event for us and it is extra exciting to be part of the events 10th anniversary show

Come and visit us, and meet us, on Stand 20, and why not combine it with a visit to MCDC!