2011 review – a year at Flux

What a busy year it has been here at Flux Studios!

2011 began with an American flavour –  Kyle Hopkins joined the Flux collective and in no time at all has proven to be a dynamic and inspirational addition to the studio – he took the fashion world by storm this year…keep an eye on him in 2012, he’s destined for great things!

Meanwhile  Bernice Kelly (aka Macha Jewellery) flew these shores for another kind of life in New York.

the lovely Bernice Kelly

the lovely Bernice Kelly

She’s making a huge impact with her jewellery worldwide, so if you were lucky enough to buy her work when she was here at Flux, treasure it dearly.. it’s a future classic!

Just before her parting we had also said our sad farewells to Alix Verhaeghe, also heading for the Big Apple.

Charles Watherston left for new horizons, and we were delighted to welcome back to the fold the lovely Suzie Byatt, who needed a bench while planning her next epic journey around the Globe.

We were also pleased to embrace Ilona Guest and Helena Bravo as members to Flux –  it is always a heartwarming experience when our students find their form and take a leap towards professionalism to join the collective here at Flux Studios.

We had a wonderful visit from Adi Cloete during the summer months

beautiful ring by Adi Cloete

beautiful ring by Adi Cloete

We are always looking to make lasting co-operative links with other jewellers around the world, and during her stay in London we made strong foundations for interchange and future residency programmes between Flux in London, and her studio in Cape Town. Adi needed a bench to prepare new work for a group show in Cape Town, due to open on her return, and we were all excited to compare approaches to making.

Adi’s attention to detail in her work is delightful, with beautiful engraved patterns flowing around each piece – much of it to remain secret to the wearer as it presses against the flesh.

We may have lost Macha and Alix to New York, but by return- – perhaps in thanks for it’s new daughters – New York sent us very a special delivery when Macon McGinnis came to Flux for an extended visitor-membership. Although a fleeting stay this time around (Macon went on to Laos from London, to teach conversational English to Budhist Monks)  we hope he will return to us when the tide brings him back to these shores.

Lisa Taylor left for Barbados to try out another kind of lifestyle. we admit to a certain envy at the thought of such heady heat and colour and pace.

In the last months Barbara Yarde and Dickie Wilkinson join us to make up the full house and already we are pleased t feel their influence; Barbara is planning a course in Keum-Boo for the coming terms, and Dickie has found us a worthy sponsor (that would be Winkworth, thanks very much!) for our now famously good bi-annual Open Studio events.

The New Year brings joy and sadness both; we lose Helena to Florida, and also the lovely Imogen Belfield moves from Flux to the brand new  Goldsmiths’ Centre.

Imogen has been a much valued, much loved Flux member since we opened in September 2008, and it has been delightful to watch her evolution from graduate to fashion jeweller to the stars. Along the way her need for space and assistance to keep up with the heady demands of super-status have outgrown the capacity of Flux, and her journey continues as she now strikes out with her very own studio.

Imgen at Flux

Imogen Belfield at Flux Studios

A Flux outing to Spitalfields at JewelEast for London Jewellery Week in June led to an interesting connection with Boticca, an high-quality online jewellery and accessories store, with several of us jewellers receiving requests to join…. Becky Dockree is already up there, with Yuki Sasakura, Vicky Forrester and Imogen Belfield to follow (as soon as time is found for more  photography!) – Thanks to  Kiyan,  Chiara and the Boticca team for your vision and your patience 🙂

Alex Yule, Claire Hart, Bev Holden, Maggie Laing and Natascha Kotsopoulou all made strides ahead with their work this year too, busily adding to collections and exploring new markets for their work. There is a tangible sense of progression here for everyone involved at the Studio

Between  shoots and interviews of our jewellers for  fashion stores, sites and blogs,  and photo shoots for books (Vicky Forrester’s forthcoming book on jewellery, and Anastasia Young’s new book on stone setting) we have been bubbling along at high speed, often in a state of euphoria!

Meanwhile, our jewellery school programme rolled on with great success; Alex Yule, Becky Dockree, Suzie Byatt and  Yuki Sasakura all worked hard to deliver the extraordinary learning experience that we are renowned for.

Due to pressures of time I had to forgo my usual classes in order to write that aforementioned book, and so I put the advanced students in the very expert hands of Henrietta Fernandez. (I hpe they will have me back, when I have caught up with myself!)

Southwark Adult Learning Services (SALS) continue to support us as an outreach centre for their adult and family learning programmes, in recognition of the high quality of our provision. (if you want to test the Flux experience, look at our prospectus here)

There is much for me to be thankful for, everything to be pleased about…

And here, 3 years after its inception,  is a shining example of Flux Studios at its best, achieving all its objectives:

Flux students are inspired to learn more and explore the possibilities of becoming professionals, and become members…

Graduates become members to develop collections and business skills to promote and sell their work….

Members are supported to explore their market through open studios and exhibitions…

Members are given opportunities to develop teaching skills…

Members are challenged to speak about their work through interactions with students…

Students are surrounded by a massive creative community…

Members support each other by sharing workshop skills, business skills and connections…

Members become successful and fly away to set up their own studio…

But always, I hope, they remain Fluxy at heart!

Imogen Belfield and Kyle Hopkins at Flux Studios

Imogen Belfield and Kyle Hopkins at Flux Studios