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Meet local maker Ginny Puzey
Ginny Puzey is jewellery Designer-Maker who qualified from Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery in 2011, and now runs her own business designing and making jewellery. Having worked from a shared studio in the jewellery quarter for many years, Ginny now works from home, combining her jewellery work with caring for her family, dogs and chickens.
Ginny specialises in hand-making fine jewellery in silver and gold, combined with semi-precious and precious gemstones. She enjoys making unusual geometric jewellery with sharp lines, precise angles and contrasting textures. Ginny draws inspiration from origami flowers, creating unusual jewellery which is geometric yet feminine. These complex folded silver flowers are beautiful and modern, with a classic simplicity, and polished, angled surfaces to catch and reflect the light.
What first fuelled your passion to make / create your designs / product?
I have been making jewellery since I was a child, and was obsessed with quirky, one-off earrings as a teenager. It was always a hobby to me, but then in 2009 I took a diploma at Birmingham’s School of Jewellery, and decided to set up my own business.
Tell us about the origins of your business.
Once I finished my diploma I enrolled on Design Space, an incubation scheme run by Birmingham City Council. This was invaluable, as it provided workshop space, mentoring, and tutorials in how to run a small business. I then rented a workshop in the Jewellery Quarter and I was on my way.
What’s your motto?
“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul” Wassily Kandinsky
How would you describe your designs / products?
I work mainly in silver, and love clean, crisp lines, and a pop of colour. My jewellery is often influenced by origami, with geometric shapes. All my pieces are classic and enduring.
What was the first success / landmark moment for your designs / product range?
I was accepted to exhibit with Centrepiece, a cooperative of local jewellers, who have an annual selling exhibition in Symphony Hall in Birmingham. I’ll never forget the excitement of selling my work for the first time to somebody who didn’t know me! It made all the hard work worthwhile, and validated my desire to be a jewellery designer-maker.
Tell us about your materials - where do you source your materials from?
I use precious metals, usually recycled silver and gold. I love to use coloured gemstones, and enamel to add colour. I get all of my materials from suppliers in the Jewellery Quarter, and use local businesses such as casters and engravers. The Jewellery Quarter is full of highly experienced tradespeople. I feel it is more important than ever to support the small, local businesses.
Tell us about your making process?
I usually make up a master model, and then cast a batch of the same shape in silver. I then polish and refine the shape, before turning it into a unique piece of jewellery, and adding gemstone or enamel highlights.
Have you ever had any interesting commissions?
I love making engagement rings. It’s always nerve-racking, to see whether the bride-to-be will say “yes”, and will like the ring designed by her fiancé and me. Fortunately, they always have!
Do you have a favourite of the Birmingham museums? If so, why
The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. I love wandering around the old Smith and Pepper factory workshop, which is preserved as it was in 1981, and was a working factory for 80 years before that. It is fascinating to me that they used the same tools and processes that I use today.
And finally, a tourist arrives in Birmingham for the first time ever, where do you take them?
For a walk around the Jewellery Quarter. There are so many hidden gems in the courtyards and alleyways, and such diverse architecture. The cemetery catacombs are a personal favourite. And then there are the fantastic cafes and shops to wander around.