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Meet local maker Liz Warriner
I have had a lifelong interest in gems and jewellery, and after retiring from work in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter I had more time to design jewellery in my home workshop in Coventry.
Working almost exclusively in silver I aim to make pieces with clean, modern lines which compliment today’s fashions, using gemstones and beads to add colour to many designs. Most pieces are fully hallmarked, with some items cast from original designs and others completely hand-made.
What first fuelled your passion to make/create your designs/product?
I have always had a great interest in gems and jewellery, but it was when I was able to join a local evening class many years ago that I found creating my own pieces was wonderfully fulfilling. I was hooked!
Tell us about the origins of your business.
Following on from several years at the evening class, I took exams in the study of gemstones and then joined a jewellery manufacturing company in Birmingham Jewellery Quarter as a gemstone buyer and sorter. This led to being able to market some of my designs.
What’s your motto?
Easy wearable style.
How would you describe your designs/products?
I aim to produce items that compliment all kinds of fashions and are easy to wear.
What was the first success/landmark moment for your designs/product range?
My first opportunity came when I took a small number of my jewellery items in to the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, who were happy to put them on display. Most of them sold quickly which was a great encouragement. I had to work quickly to replace them!
Tell us about your materials – where do you source your materials from?
I work almost exclusively in silver, with some pieces containing real stones and pearls. A few items have glass beads for more informal designs. Most metals and stones come from companies in Birmingham.
Tell us about your making process.
Some of my pieces are completely hand-made in my workshop, and some are cast from my original hand-made designs, for greater ease of supply.
Have you ever had any interesting commissions?
I have had some quite unusual commissions from someone who approached me one day when I was restocking my cabinet at MJQ. These were one-off designs – meeting the challenge was very satisfying, especially as she had been a little vague as to what she really wanted!
Do you have a favourite of the Birmingham museums? If so, why?
Unsurprisingly my favourite of the Birmingham museums is the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, both for its specialised and fascinating content and also for the encouragement they have always given me.
And finally, a tourist arrives in Birmingham for the first time ever, where do you take them?
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery would of course give a visitor a wide view of many outstanding exhibits and works of art, and Soho House shows how industry in Birmingham developed from the pioneering vision of Matthew Boulton and his associates.