Dazzle was established in 1981 by Christine Bola and Tony Gordon, as a series of exhibitions that would promote contemporary, unique jewellery to the wider public across the UK. The team currently put on two events per year showing a wide variety of hand crafted wearable art. Every summer, there is a beautiful showcase at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh during the month of August, when the famous Edinburgh Festival takes place and brings people from all corners of the world to the Scottish capital. In the run up to Christmas, Dazzle pop up at the stunning OXO Tower Wharf in London, offering an alternative to high street Christmas shopping. There is always an amazing mix of talented jewellery makers working with a variety of traditional and contemporary materials exhibiting their latest collections.
The first time I visited Dazzle was before I even began studying Silversmithing & Jewellery. Walking into the upstairs Ladies Baths room in Dovecot Studios, filled to the brim with a huge variety of stunning contemporary jewellery, was one of the pivotal moments of my decision making about pursuing the discipline as my profession. Observing the variety of approaches and ways in which designers can express themselves through the medium of wearables, the plethora of materials and colours and forms that can be created, was incredibly enriching and eye opening to my young self.
A good few years after the visit, I graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a BA in Silversmithing & Jewellery and set up my own small creative business. I worked incredibly hard in order to establish myself as an emerging maker in the industry, and after a couple of years I was presented with an opportunity to exhibit my own jewellery at the Edinburgh Dazzle. It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing jewellery designed and made by me in the same space I visited back in 2013. It was a wonderful mixture of disbelief, pride and joy. Before I even really knew that I would go on to set up my own practice, somewhere in my subconcious I knew that one day, I would want to be a part of the Dazzle collective. You could say it was a dream come to life.
I visited the exhibition on the evening of the Private View on the 1st August, just before the start of the Edinburgh Festival. The room was full of people and energy, and I absolutely loved walking around looking at all the gorgeous jewellery on display. I’ll let the photos I managed to take at the event do the rest of the talking, but it’s safe to say I’m still not quite over seeing my name and my sculptural jewellery in one of the classic Dazzle glass display cases. I was lucky enough to have been invited back to Dazzle@OXO this December too, and I already cannot wait to put together a collection for this Christmas showcase.