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The School of Jewellery and HND Course DirectorDauvit Alexander were delighted to recently present the finished award-winninggoblet to Kate Owen, Past President of The British Allied Trades Federation(BATF) in the School’s Vittoria Street home. The BATF launched thecompetition at the School to provide an opportunity for students to design to commission,thereby promoting newly qualified talent in the industry.

Dating back to 1954, the BATF Presidency hasbeen recognised by the addition of a solid silver goblet to the Federation’ssilver collection. This collection was instigated to support and showcasecraftsmanship and design. For the last three years, outgoing Presidents of theBATF have each provided a brief for the students, to produce a design whichreflects their personality. The Presidents have judgedthe designs, selected the prize-winner for manufacture and provided feedback. 

HND Jewellery and Silversmithing alumni BethanCubbin was awarded The BATF Goblet Design Competition title for her strikingdesign.

Bethan said “I really enjoyed designing this goblet for Kate Owen and the BATF. This was the first design competition I had ever entered and I couldn’t wait to get started. Once I received the brief about Kate’s likes and dislikes, I focussed on Kate’s enjoyment of nature; (“more trees and shrubs rather than flowers”). I focused on the London plane tree, as many of its characteristics were comparable with that of the BATF - long lasting and ever changing to fit with its environment. 

I wanted to keep the goblet quitesleek in style and obviously it had to be fit for purpose. I really got intothe design process and enjoyed coming up with something unique! I wascompletely shocked when they announced that my design had won and couldn’t waitto see my drawing come to life! I hope Kate Owenis very happy with her goblet and enjoys many ‘toasts’ with it in the future!Cheers!”

Bethan’s winning piece was part spun by handand part manufactured on the lathe by School of Jewellery alumni Adam Veevers,a Designer and Silversmith based in the Jewellery Quarter. Bethan and Adam’ssignature/assay mark will be added to the goblet which is now included in theBATF’s silver collection. 

After the presentation, Adam said: “It has beena joy to work on Bethan’s piece. It is an inspired design and was great funbringing it to life. I was so pleased when Jo asked me to carry out the projectand an honour to be asked to attend the photo shoot. Great to be able to givesomething back to the School of Jewellery after so long! It was also a greathelp from a maker’s point of view to have been given a clear and concise briefin plenty of time, allowing me to give it the thought and consideration itdeserved. Thanks to Jo, Dauvit and everyoneelse involved”

All HND students at the School of Jewellerywere invited to participate in the competition, to have their piece in theBATF’s collection. The total budget for the design and manufacture of thesterling silver goblet was £1,000 and the brief asked for a minimum/approximateweight of 220g and a height of 17 – 22cm. Students also had to include the BATFcrest and engraving of the President’s name and years of office.

The Federation looked for a design that reflectedthe time of its manufacture and the personality of the President, adding to anattractive collection of distinguishable goblets with differences thatreference the styles of the time. Each goblet had to be of good professionalquality and able to function holding liquid. Senior lecturer Jo Pondcoordinates this competition as part of a Faculty Live Project and said; “Whenthe students have the opportunity to respond to a trade project brief theylearn the importance of working to real-life criteria, a fixed budget and withina specific timeframe. They are taught to create a professional rendered drawingto sell their ideas to an external panel, and they appreciate the honestfeedback that the BATF provide. The HND team enjoy the value these experiencesbring and the motivation of a prize works very well”.

Speakingafterwards, Kate said: “Iam delighted with Bethan’s goblet, she has perfectly reflected my interestswithin her design.  I look forward to seeing her stylish design and Adam’sbeautiful craftsmanship added to the Federation silver gobletcollection. The high calibre of entries has been impressive, as a tradefederation representing the craftsmanship of silversmithing we are encouragedto see innovation, design and traditional skills continuing to flourish in theJewellery Quarter.”

The involvement of the BATF’s founder tradeassociation, the Birmingham Jewellers’ & Silversmiths’ Association with theSchool of Jewellery began in 1888 when the trade association decided toimplement formal education for trainees within the industry,  setting upart classes and paying 50% of members staffs’ tuition fees. The first class had60 pupils and the initiative led directly to the founding of the school inVittoria Street. The Association announced there would be prizes for the beststudents work, the first of which were presented on 21st February1889, and it is wonderful that thisimportant relationship continues today. 

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