If 2022 is your year to learn a new skill then we could have the answer! Introducing Emily Smith, Founder of The Metal Smith in Winchester. She runs some amazing Experiences from metal bowl making to crafting your own earrings.
Hello, can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
Hello, I'm Emily aka 'The Metalsmith'! I'm a contemporary jeweller based in Winchester working on the theme of 'Humanity' and finding silver linings; I use a variety of metals and techniques to create work, from specific collections to bespoke one of a kind pieces. I like to use my powers for good too - with my signature collections, I tend to have a little story and donate a percentage of sales to a relevant charity. In terms of experiences, I want to provide slightly more unusual options and try to encourage people to try things they haven't before.
How long have you been running your business for?
I started making jewellery at about 11 or 12 years old! Because I was making so much, my mum helped me get a stall at the local school fete to sell some of my wares, and from there started my jewellery career. The pieces I made at the time were a little different to what I make now - before going to university, I was only really making beaded pieces. Throughout uni, I made strides in my metalwork journey; my creativity went through a big development! I graduated in 2019, the same year as I started my grown-up business, so 'The Metalsmith' has been going for roughly 3 years now! The workshop side of the business is being developed alongside my creative practice and that's about a year old; it's something that my studios have really encouraged and supported me in doing, so here we are!
What made you start your business?
Put simply, I couldn't imagine doing anything else; I can't remember a time that I didn't want to do this!
It gives me the opportunity to feed my curiosity and creativity on a regular basis.
Plenty of technical challenges and magical transformations; I get to work for myself, make the decisions and meet all kinds of lovely people! It is a lot of hard work, exhausting and quite stressful at times, but it's all worth it!
Who would you say your Experiences were for?
While I do welcome everyone, the experiences were designed for beginners; you're not expected to be a jeweller, artist or have even taken part in a creative activity since school (although if you have, that's okay too). All I ask is that you're keen and curious! I would say they're ideally for 18s and over, due to the nature of the activities, but other than that, every and all kinds of people are welcome! For birthdays, anniversaries, Mothers or Fathers Days - presents for loved ones or treats for yourself!
What can people expect from your Experience?
Quite a bit! In all three experiences (Bowl Making, Earring Trio and Ring Carving), you can expect to learn a lot of new skills, craft at least one finished metal piece and have a jolly good time in the process! There are a number of aspects to each workshop so I would advise having a read about what each one entails; a lot of thought has been put into all of the options to make sure each person can gain as much value from them as possible. All three experiences run through all of the processes from the very start to the very finish; I have so much love for these activities and I like to think it shows! And cake, we have cake too!
What do you love most about Hampshire?
There are lots of reasons: the nostalgia that comes with fond memories (I grew up here!), the community spirit and friendliness of those in the area. The passion for supporting small businesses and the beautiful natural areas too!
Who are your favourite Hampshire businesses?
Ooh there are plenty to choose from! The Painted Dragonfly (a mobile ceramic painting business), Project Store in Winchester, Prestons Coffee Shop and Amore in Overton, and Designed by Abeer to name a few!
Which do you prefer?
Beach or City? Beach!
Tea or Coffee? Coffee!
Spring or Autumn? Autumn!
Cosy pub or bustling restaurant? Pub!
Something active or something creative? Definitely creative!
Finally, what are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months?
SO many things! Welcoming lots of new folks to workshops and watching their faces light up as they realise that they made the wonderful little object in front of them! I can't wait to expand my workshop portfolio and I'm looking forward to my first trade show, Hampshire Open Studios and some new creative ideas!
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