Metal refiner investing in hand-picked group of design students.
Precious metal refiner Capella Maufacturing has launched a campaign to help sponsor jewellery and precious metal design students with ethical and recycled metals.
The Derbyshire company says it has invested in "hand-picked energetic and gifted students" who wish to create pieces that incorporate ethical or recycled metals.
Capella has already sponsored several up-and-coming designers by providing them with metal to work and hopes to help grow the future of the UK jewellery and silversmithing industries through its work.
Kevin Bloor, managing director at Capella, said: “It is natural for us to want to support the future of the industry – these are the designers and manufacturers who will be responsible for the continued growth of the UK’s jewellery market.”
Jo Taylor and Melissa Montague are among the students that Capella has already worked.
Taylor wanted to explore the provenance of the metal she used to maintain a clear traceable supply chain for her range of silver jewellery and says she was drawn to Capella due to its dedication to quality recycled and Fairmined metal.
“I was looking for an ethical supply chain and a refiner that was doing things a little differently," states Taylor. "I found out about Capella on the internet and called them up to ask if I could visit, not realising about its programme to support the future of the jewellery industry.”
Taylor has since set up her own brand Tootsievalentine using ethical metals, and holds a license to work with Fairtrade and Fairmined gold.
Montague is in the process of studying an MA in Design at Sheffield Hallam University, specialising in Metal Work and Jewellery.
She said of working with Capella: “It was fascinating seeing the process in action and how a pile of scrap metal can be refined and processed into rods and wire of, just about, any dimension you’d ever need.
"As well as showing me the inner workings of the refining process Capella also kindly supported my current project by supplying me with some recycled metal.”
Capella said the student support programme is part of its on-going commitment to the industry to provide transparent working processes. To date Capella are also the first and only UK based refiner that has been audited and FLO-CERT accredited to process Fairtrade and Fairmined gold.
Bloor added: “We really want to support and help the future talent of the industry in the early stages of their careers. This has meant that we have consciously selected a few projects to support to allow us to give them our full attention and support, rather than spreading our support too thinly and not really making an impact on their progress. We hope this will mean that we can really make a difference.”
Capella is one of only three pure gold refineries in the UK.