“It was just amazing to win the award, I didn’t expect it, this year has been a great year for crafts so I was just in a bit of shock when they told me."
Libby Ward, BA(Hons) 3D Design
A contemporary jeweller has earned the title of ‘Best Emerging Maker’ at a prestigious craft fair in Manchester.
Libby Ward, a BA(Hons) 3D Design graduate was presented the prize, which included £300 worth of accounting advice, at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair for her thought-provoking jewellery made from an unexpected assortment of materials.
The 23-year-old’s portfolio of rings, necklaces and broaches are made using an array of materials, such as copper, silver, silicon, latex and nickel silver.
Libby reveals why using such a wide variety of materials is important to her: “I like to work with organic textures, for me it is a very therapeutic process that helps me with my multiple sclerosis,” she explains.
Libby said: “It was just amazing to win the award, I didn’t expect it, this year has been a great year for crafts so I was just in a bit of shock when they told me.
“I am hoping that this will help give my work that step-up and people will notice that my jewellery has been widely recognised.”
Libby uses electroforming, etching and plating to harness a variety of textures that then creates the myriad of colours and styles.
“I like to interact with the different textures and play around with them,” she added.
Libby was just one of 160 exhibitors to be invited to the fair which enabled shoppers to meet the designers behind the collectables.
“I received lots of positive feedback and people were intrigued by my work and asked me lots of questions, I nearly lost my voice by the end of the night,” she said. “I think the judges liked where my inspiration came from, and that I have managed to turn a negative into a positive and it isn’t your average jewellery.”
The 23-year-old was joined by fellow graduate, Jasmine Simpson who was in the Great Northern Graduates category.
Libby, who was also presented the The Scarr-Hall Memorial Trust Award in June for her achievements and overcoming adversity at the University’s Show and Tell exhibition, is now eager to progress her jewellery further afield.
“I am looking to get a workshop space at Middleport Pottery to progress my work, I’ve also applied for Schmuck, a German jewellery fair. I think my work suits the German market so hopefully I get accepted to go there,” she added.
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