We speak to Jewllery Designer Maker and Hothouse17 participant Amanda Priest
Amanda is a jewellery designer and maker. After a 20 year career in the fashion industry, she completed a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Jewellery Design. Her work investigates the relationship of value between material, maker and wearer. Amanda takes inspiration from everyday situations, travel and memories which are translated, using steel, gold, silver and vitreous enamel.
Amanda has been selected for Hothouse, the Crafts Council's Talent Development Programme for emerging makers. Find out more about Hothouse
What first got you interested in making?
I first became interested in making as young girl working with my father in his workshops.
What in particular drew you to working with steel and precious metals?
I became interested in steel whilst studying for a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Jewellery design. Working with steel causes many frustrations and challenges. As ‘value’ has always interested me I find that steel mixed with gold raises many questions as the two metals are not comparative in a monetary sense.
Where have you shown your work so far? What has that experience been like?
I exhibited at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in October which proved to be very successful for me. I also exhibit in four galleries, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, The Ropewalk, Manchester Craft and Design Centre and Lakeland Arts Trust in Cumbria. I have also shown my work at Legnica, the Aram Gallery in Palma and Valencia.
Which project are you most proud of so far and why?
I suppose it has to be my degree collection which was very well received and enabled me to gain a First Class Honours Degree.
You started making after a career in fashion. How has your previous career informed your work?
I think my previous career makes me think commercially which although having advantages also can prove to be problematic too. I would really like to collaborate with a fashion designer so my pieces can be worn alongside their work.
Themes of nature, particularly the Canary Islands, are apparent in your work. How did this come about and could you tell us more about why this geography is inspirational?
As a family we have spent many wonderful holidays in Majorca and find it to be such a peaceful place that holds so many special memories. I always seem to be attracted to crashing seas and old doors.
Do, or will, the landscapes of the UK inform your work?
I am hoping to spend some time in Cornwall in May and hope to gain some inspiration from the rugged coastlines.
What do you hope to get from Hothouse?
I hope to gain a clearer direction as to where my work sits in the marketplace.
You can see more work from Amanda and follow her at the Crafts Council Directory