Our First Ethical Jewellery Symposium

It’s In Our Hands – The Future of Ethical Making in Scotland


Greg Valerio, activist & jeweller, presenting the story of gold


In partnership with the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, the Incorporation of Goldsmiths held their first ethical jewellery symposium titled ‘It’s in our Hands – The Future of Ethical Making in Scotland’. The Symposium addressed key issues in the jewellery industry, why and how to adopt an ethical jewellery practice.

We learned how an ethical approach adds value to your product and makes for a more authentic story to tell your customers about where and how their jewellery was made. Speakers included Greg Valerio MBE, pioneering ethical jeweller and activist; Ute Decker, ethical jeweller and researcher; Karen Westland, jeweller and silversmith, regarding the broader history of precious metal sourcing and its environmental and socioeconomic impact, Dr Peter Oakley from the Royal College of Art introduced international case studies in the industry, while ethical consultant, Vivien Johnston, pointed to the transparent supply chain that the Scotgold mine in Tyndrum presents, and Marian Brown, co-founder of Ostrero, a circular economy social enterprise, presented the opportunities in Scotland for companies adopting a Circular Economy model. Tim Ingle from Ingle & Rhode, ethical jewellery brand, presented the business case for brands to turn to ethical jewellery making and the benefits of investing in this niche market as a maker. Mary Michel, Director of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths, finished off the presentations by discussing the components of the chain of custody and the importance of provenance in the jewellery supply chain.

The symposium was supported by a workshop on sustainable jewellery practices led by two proponents in ethical jewellery, Greg Valerio and Ute Decker. The workshop gave attendees practical advice on how to improve their practice including how and where to source responsibly mined metals and stones.



Symposium on Ethical Making

Karen Westland Studio 1

On Tuesday, 7th February 2017, the Incorporation of Goldsmiths and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design will be holding a free Symposium on Ethical Making at the University of Dundee. This is aimed primarily at jewellers and silversmiths, but we also welcome makers of all disciplines who have a particular interest in adopting an ethical approach in their practice.

Attendees will be able to interact with a fantastic panel of speakers, including:





Elements 2

Craig Stuart silversmith


The first ever Elements was a resounding success and we were overwhelmed by the positive feedback from both visitors and makers. The general consensus was that Elements is a much needed platform in Scotland for exquisite jewellery and silverware.

We are delighted to confirm that Elements will be returning this year from the 4th to 6th November at Lyon and Turnbull Auction House, 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh.



Outstanding Scottish Student of the Year 2015

The Outstanding Scottish Student of the Year Award


Naomi and Grant with her silver goblet
Naomi Scott – Outstanding Scottish Student of the Year Award for 2015/16


The winner of the Outstanding Scottish Student of the Year Award for 2015/16 was Glasgow School of Art student Naomi Scott, who created this beautifully crafted goblet, inspired by the movement of fabric.

Naomi was paired with talented silversmith, Grant McCaig and worked with him in his London studio to make the finished piece. Grant is also one of the ten makers who contributed to the Silver of The Stars collection, which was exhibited at Elements 1.


Success for Scottish Colleges in 2016


Kirsten MacGregor - Precious Metals Bursary
Image right: Mock design submitted by Kirstin MacGregor of Edinburgh College of Art


Scottish colleges have had a great start to 2016, winning seven out of a possible nine Precious Metal Bursaries from the Goldsmiths’ Company. Edinburgh College of art secured 4 of the awards, Glasgow School of Art were awarded two and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design won one.

This is a fantastic result for Scottish Colleges and Universities who are leading the way with jewellery and silversmithing courses. This follows on from the success at New Designers 2015 where the Scottish colleges were highly successful.





The Edinburgh Riding of The Marches

The Riding of the Marches of Edinburgh probably began with the birth of the burgh, as a necessary part of marking out the boundaries and then keeping them untrammelled and in order. The burgesses of the burgh would have taken part, along with the forerunners of the town council, and among them were principally the craftsmen and the merchants who drove the local economy and provided the wherewithal for decent living.

We get brief glimpses of the Ridings in 1494 and 1528 and again in 1589, by which time the event had been attached to the Allhallows Fair (1st November). They are mentioned in the Council Register on 30th October 1579, when it was ordered that a proclamation should be made:

chairging all merchantis craftismen and vtheris inhabitantis within this burgh to be in radynes the morn be xi houris to accompany the provest baillies and counsall to vesy thair meithis and boundis as ordour hes bene on horsbak and to proclame their Alhallovmes fair to begyn the morn be xij houris.

The practice eventually fell out of use but has been revived to commemorate or celebrate particular occasions, such as in 1946, to mark the end of the Second World War. In 2009 the Ridings have been revived on an annual basis and are now an important fixed point in the civic calendar, attended by the Lord Provost, Lord Dean of Guild and the Deacon-Convener of Trades, all in their full robes and chains of office.