Craft in Conversation: A resilient sector with The Steensons & Natalie Melton
'To be innovative in design whilst producing the highest standard of craft.'
New to August Craft Month in 2020 is Craft in Conversation with renowned arts broadcast journalist and BBC Radio Ulster Culture Café presenter, Marie-Louise
Marie-Louise will be speaking each week to a prestigious guest from the craft world.
We are so delighted to finish our talks series by hearing from Bill Steenson of Steensons jewellers. Bill, with his wife and business partner Christina, have for over four decades run a successful jewellery business attracting customers and commissions world-wide. Now a second-generation enterprise run by their daughter Brona, The Steensons began in their Glenarm workshop in 1976, designing and making unique contemporary jewellery which found customers across the UK and Ireland through prestigious retailers such as Kilkenny Design and Selfridges.
In 1988, they opened their first Belfast store, re-locating in 1995 to the beautiful Bedford Street store where they can still be found. The original Glenarm workshop now also accommodates a showroom and is an Economusee, where visitors can watch the work being made, observing the processes and gaining understanding of the craftsmanship at work. Game of Thrones fans will know that Steensons made many of the pieces featured in the series, subsequently securing a licence from HBO to design and sell a unique collection based on the series.
This is a great opportunity to hear from Bill about how Steensons has survived and continues to thrive along with lessons and reflections for those working for the success and resilience of the craft sector. A must for makers, retailers and supporters of quality craft.
Joining Bill will be Natalie Melton from the UK Crafts Council to give some headline findings from their Market for Craft Report launched in May 2020. Hot off the press, and followed by a series of in-depth sector consultations, Natalie will be able to give an overview of the sector in the UK at the moment, as well as emerging thinking on what measures support bodies, local councils and government can take to help makers weather the current stormy conditions.
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