Goldsmiths North, which will take place in the Cutlers’ Hall in central Sheffield from July 7 to 9, 2023, is about showcasing the work of independent designer-makers whose pieces aren’t necessarily readily available in the mainstream marketplace and offering the general public the chance to meet, engage with and buy direct from these makers, Sheffield Assay Office CEO Ashley Carson, a key supporter of the event, tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.
What type of jewellery designers will be exhibiting at Goldsmiths North, and how are they selected?
Specially selected by a panel of industry experts, our exhibitors are all independent makers at the top of their game and will showcase a broad range of precious metal and jewellery-making disciplines; from traditional silversmithing and stone-setting to the newest advances in technological tools.
As a visitor, you can expect to find must-have treats, elevated statement pieces and modern design classics at every price range. Stud earrings for every day, tourmalines for every occasion, fathomlessly intricate enamel work, silver dippers for your honey and gilded tumblers for your whisky.
What qualities are you looking for in the designers who exhibit there?
We look for designers who show a high degree of skill and a distinct design identity in their work. Our exhibitors might be well-established or could be new on the scene but all are independent craftspeople who make their own work.
What is the main purpose of the event, and who is organising it?
Goldsmiths North is about showcasing the work of independent designer-makers whose pieces aren’t necessarily readily available in the mainstream marketplace and offering the general public the chance to meet, engage with and buy direct from these makers.
Directors Brett Payne and Rebecca Joselyn are professional silversmiths, both with workshops based in Sheffield, and run Goldsmiths North with the support of the Sheffield Assay Office, the Goldsmiths’ Company in London and the Cutlers’ Company in Hallamshire.
Is the event fully booked with exhibiting designers, or are you seeking more applications?
We don’t have spaces available to exhibit at this year’s event. However, applications for Goldsmiths North 2024 will open in the autumn. Details on how to apply will be made available on the website and across social media platforms.
What type of visitors are you looking to attract to Goldsmiths North? Are these buyers from the trade, eg retailers and wholesalers, or jewellery aficionados/collectors, or both?
All are welcome! In previous years we have had a real mixture of visitors. For trade buyers this is a good opportunity to meet new makers and spot exciting new work.
For enthusiasts and collectors, this is a rare chance to find many of the best makers in the UK tempted out of their workshops and all under one roof at the same time!
Equally welcome are members of the public who simply want to enjoy a glitzy shopping experience, try on fabulous jewellery and hopefully go home with something they’ll cherish for years to come.
What are your ambitions for the longer term future of Goldsmiths North?
One of our primary aims in establishing Goldsmiths North has been to provide a platform for makers to develop fresh customer bases for their work in the North of England.
As the only event of its kind outside the capital, Goldsmiths North has successfully reached and engaged an affluent audience who would otherwise need to travel to London to view an equivalent breadth and quality of contemporary silverware and jewellery.
Our offer to exhibitors will continue to be a thriving retail selling platform with excellent potential for growth in the years to come.
We would like to see Goldsmiths North become a real fixture in the calendar – for both the trade and the visiting public. We feel it represents a unique opportunity to promote interest in and awareness of the activities and concerns of the making community and contributing partners.