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Useful and interesting  stuff for Jewellers and Silversmiths


  • Dawn Meaden-Johnson

An Intriguing Idea for October

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

For this blog I thought I would share my own design process on an unusual project.

Working to Gallery deadlines is tough

I am completely focused on the task in hand, with not really much time for creative thinking other than problem solving but this week I start work on a new project.

A new opportunity has arisen to create something that does not have its design restricted by commercial demands.

I'm looking forward to stretching myself creatively.

The Concept

An idea for a brooch that has been in my mind for several months that I have named project Reclamation, this October I'm working on a potential submission piece for an exhibition. Little bit scary being judged by your peers but exciting to work on something straight out of my imagination.

I am creating something that would make use some of the beautiful hand-painted colourful scraps and off-cuts of anodised aluminium I have collected over the years year.

My guillotine bits and bobs containing small bits of hand painted sheet in a variety of colours, hues and shapes and the unused or odd components that I just can't make myself scrap.

All these pieces are reminders of previous successes and failures and I am reclaiming these pieces exclusively to generate a new piece of work. A Brooch.

Editing what to use is not easy.

Pros and Cons

I'm lucky that my other job in Jewellery courses and training is fairly quite at this time of year because my clients are urgently engaged in creating work for the Christmas Market.

This is my opportunity to make something worthwhile.

- Best case scenario

I'll get this piece accepted into the exhibition I have chosen.

This piece may be suitable for another upcoming exhibition.

- Worst case scenario

I'll make an enjoyable piece made and to be proud of - and I can wear it myself!

I'll add this piece to my collection of work that promotes my expertise.

I'll add to my making experience.

I'll be inspired to develop this concept.

Design Conclusion

The worst case scenario is not exactly a failure. And it will be a striking piece to wear.


I really enjoyed the freedom of working on something new and interesting and to my contemporary taste. Pushing my technical abilities to its limit and getting the result I was happy with was challenging and exhilarating, but that is why I love working with Anodised Aluminium and why I love making Jewellery.

The Reclamation Brooch | The design concept and result of the intriguing idea in October


About the author

Dawn Meaden-Johnson is the Director and Founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company, she has 25 years’ experience working in the Jewellery Industry including at Signet Retail Jewellers and almost 10 Years at Birmingham City University School of Jewellery during which time she has worked extensively with national and international clients whilst managing their Short Course Programme.

A graduate Silversmith of Birmingham School of Jewellery BCU, Dawn still occasionally creates limited edition contemporary jewellery under the brand Dawnstorm, specialising in the use of anodised aluminium in jewellery.

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