Site launches to push British contemporary jewels

The Young British Jewellers site offers virtual galleries and networking for contemporary jewellery designers working in Britain, all for free.

Young British Jewellers offering free profiles to designer-makers.

A new online jewellery directory of British jewellery designers has launched, founded by jeweller Vega Bantock and historian Christopher Minton.

The site, called Young British Jewellers, gives free profile space to British jewellery designers and is aiming to create a "new online community launched to connect contemporary jewellers and promote their work".

Each profile has contact details, a biography of the jeweller and galleries of their designs. Jewellers already featured on the site include Victoria Kelsey, Ebba Goring, Elizabeth Armour and Ruth Gordon.

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Bantock said: “Contemporary jewellery isn’t usually sold in shops but instead showcased in art or craft galleries, and information can be hard to find unless you know exactly where to look. The YBJ Events page will make it easier for people to find out about exhibitions, thereby boosting gallery visitor numbers.”

In the future the site plans to host networking events, create pages featuring jewellery galleries and courses in the UK, and run a series of interviews with course directors of jewellery degrees.

 

Minton said he hopes that the site will not only function as a virtual gallery space for a wealth of designers but also as a community for the designers themselves, which is why the site has a private messaging function.

He said: "After study, many jewellers work alone in home studios and can lack the support of a community environment. Young British Jewellers provides a solution to this problem, both online and through our exciting new events.

“In addition, we recognise that consumers often find it hard to locate well designed, unique pieces of jewellery online, as searches usually bring up the bigger, mainstream jewellery companies, while the websites of individual makers remain hidden. By bringing everyone into one place, Young British Jewellers makes it easier for jewellers to be accessed online, helping them promote themselves."

While the site has the term young in its title, its founders have said that this is not in reference to the age of the jewellers but the contemporary nature of their work.

Young British Jewellers press officer Lucie Boase said: "We would like to emphasise that we welcome submissions from contemporary jewellers of all ages working or studying in Britain."

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