Since 2003, the Trust has organised and funded a series of Symposiums, in conjunction with Edinburgh College of Art, for students of all Scottish colleges. Themes have included General European Jewellery, Dutch Jewellery, and Japanese Jewellery and Silversmithing.


Past Symposiums

It’s In Our Hands – One Year On

Following on from the success of the first symposium about ethical making in 2017, the Trust held a second ethical making symposium titled It’s in Our Hands – One Year On. This symposium was held in partnership with the Precious Metals Workshop in Edinburgh. Speakers discussed current issues and new developments in the industry such as the supply of ethical silver and how to face the challenges of building an ethical making practice in the current design and making industry. Speakers included Fairtrade ethical jeweller and environmental activist, Greg Valerio MBE; jewellers, Ute Decker, Alison Macleod and Jen Cunningham; Dr Peter Oakley from the Royal College of Art; founder of the Precious Metals Workshop, Ian Nicholson; and Jane Barnett and Theodora Panayides of consultancy and social venture, Levin Sources. There was a variety of makers who spoke at the symposium, providing a range of perspectives on what ethical making means and what is possible to achieve. The symposium was again followed by a practical workshop led by Greg Valerio and Ute Decker.

“The symposium was brilliant and again for a second-year running was inspiring, informative and vital to the education of the industry. What you guys are doing is cutting edge and I am inspired to see how far this goes into changing the approach of the industry.”

“The whole event was great! I met so many wonderful people and it was so inspiring to meet other people who are trying to make changes in the jewellery industry. If there is another symposium next year, I will be sure to attend!”

Comments from those who attended It’s in Our Hands – One Year On

It’s in Our Hands – The Future of Ethical Making in Scotland

The Trust created It’s in Our Hands- The Future of Ethical Making in Scotland in partnership with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. This symposium addressed the concept of ethical making in the jewellery industry and what this means for makers. The symposium was followed by a practical workshop titled Jewellery Ethics for the 21st Century. The two-day event was held at the University of Dundee on February 7th and 8th, 2017. Speakers included Greg Valerio, environmental activist; Ute Decker, leading ethical jeweller and Dr. Peter Oakley, Royal College of Art as well as independent makers and brands. The presentations addressed issues in the jewellery industry, how and why to adopt an ethical jewellery practice and the benefits of running a jewellery business with a transparent and traceable supply chain. The workshop on the following day, led by Greg Valerio and Ute Decker, gave attendants practical information on suppliers, studio alternatives and ways to adopt an ethical approach in their practice.

“I was originally overwhelmed by the idea [of ethical making], but now that I've heard more about it, I feel like it's a journey I can definitely start on and make a difference.”

“Thanks for the brilliant symposium. I've decided to go completely Fairtrade now wherever I can on the metal front and look over other parts of the business to see where I can become more ethical.”

“I am still on a bit of a high, it was such a success. I’m so glad that you ask DJCAD to host the event, you really put together a great show.”

Comments from those who attended It’s in Our Hands

Making Jewellery Work

The Trust funded and worked in collaboration with Vanilla Ink to produce the Making Jewellery Work Symposium as part of the first Scottish Jewellery Week, on 12th September 2014, at the Discovery Point in Dundee. The Symposium explored subjects including the face of the current jewellery industry in Scotland today, trends in the wider industry and their effect on smaller businesses and the approaches of a different jewellery designers in developing collections and their markets. Speakers included Joy Bonfield-Colombara, Make Works; Scott Walter, Assay Master, Edinburgh Assay Office; Scott McIntyre, Brazen Studios; and jewellers Sofus Graae, Smith/Grey, and Georgia Wiseman. Graduating Vanilla Inkers shared their experiences through a Pecha Kucha presentation. The event also included an informal knowledge sharing lunch, featuring showcases from MAKLab, Cloud 9, Gemstones Brazil, Bellore Rashbel and our ‘5 Years On’ makers, Jane Gowans, Katie Lees, Hannah Livingstone and Heather McDermott.

“I learned so much and realised there are so many opportunities out there”

“Thoroughly enjoyed a day full of inspiring talks!”

Comments from those who attended the Making Jewellery Work

Perspectives in Gold

The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust funded the symposium Perspectives in Gold on 5th April 2014 , presented in partnership with the Hunterian Art Gallery & Museum’s exhibition Scottish Gold. The symposium explored the subject of gold for contemporary makers from a range of different perspectives, from historical, mineralogical to contemporary jewellers working with gold and ancient goldsmithing techniques in new and innovative ways. Speakers included George Dalgleish, Keeper of Scottish History & archaeology, National Museum Scotland and Peter Davidson, Curator of Minerology, National Museum Scotland and jewellers Andrew Lamb, Misun Won and Filipa Oliveira.

“I really liked all of it. The mix was just right… I really liked hearing from other makers.”

“My favourite part of the day was the combination of so many different perspectives e.g. historical, scientific, contemporary work.”

Comments from those who attended the Perspectives in Gold Symposium

INFORM-OUTFORM, Making it With Digital Media

The Scottish Goldsmiths' Trust funded the Inform-Outform Symposium, organised in conjunction with Edinburgh College of Art, for over 200 students and makers from across Scotland. The line-up of speakers included Leo Caballero of Klimt02, Kate Pickering of Vanilla Ink Studios, Scott Walter of Edinburgh Assay Office, Andrew Morton of Weston Beamor and Dr Catharine Rossi of Edinburgh College of Art.

“I really enjoyed the symposium, I thought that there was a really good mix of perspectives on the digital side of jewellery, from largescale networks, using digital media for your personal studies/work and views from the industry on how we can use digital media for producing work/hallmarking!”

“I thought this was a great opportunity to learn about relevant things relating to a modern approach to jewellery design.”

“Quite apart from the essential information, this was also a great jewellery networking event (I am not a student, but working goldsmith). Well done!”

Comments from those who attended the Inform-Outform Symposium