Stuart Jenkins's background is in both fine art and silversmithing. He was introduced to the world of silversmithing and jewellery making by a local leading British silversmith, Michael Bolton.
An informal apprenticeship taught him techniques of the past to combine with design ideas for the future. After graduating from Bretton Hall University College in 1997 with a first class honours degree in fine art (painting), Stuart moved to London, setting up a silversmithing studio enabling him to slowly start making up his own collection, whilst working as a freelance maker for other jewellers.
Stuart’s studio is now in East Sussex, creating items of jewellery and silverware. He has exhibited at shows far and wide such as Craft in Focus Wisley, Inhorgenta in Munich, Goldsmiths North and Goldsmiths’ Fair.
Teaching has been a part of his output for 12 years and is important in informing his own studio practice. He is a member of Contemporary British Silversmiths and the Sussex Guild.
Describe your approach to teaching
I want the student to fully understand techniques and their application to a material, so demonstrations and explanations throughout are important. The student feeling free to practise until they are confident in applying what they have learnt to the final piece is also my aim.
What inspires your own work?
Exploring precious metals' natural qualities, and how it reacts to different techniques, is a source for many of my ideas. Hammer forging and raising are mainstay techniques in my studio practice. Contrast is used to create visual balance in many of my pieces.