Frances Julie Whitelaw

My interest in making things goes right back to childhood where I always loved playing with any craft materials. There were endless scraps of fabric and plenty of advice from my granny who had been a dressmaker and was pretty handy with most household tools. This early experience and confidence meant that going to Art college was an easy decision to make. I thoroughly enjoyed spending 4 years in Dundee where I specialised in Jewellery and Silversmithing.

Leaving college or university is the point where one really starts to get to grips with a subject and when I later started teaching others it spurred me on to continue to explore my chosen field.

My designs often come about through experimenting with the physical properties of silver. Jewellery can be made from a huge number of materials, which need not be metal, but in the end I always return to it. For this reason I also call myself a silversmith. Silversmithing is the production of non-wearable pieces, usually domestic items for the table and often celebratory in nature. The cost of silver means that these pieces are special and designed to reflect their significant part in our dining and drinking culture. If you would like any information about commissioning a piece of specially designed silver please go to the contact page.

I was a founder member of the Contemporary British Silversmiths (CBS) and have regularly exhibited with this group both in the UK and Europe. We aim to promote contemporary design in silver through touring shows and events.

In 1997 I joined the Association for Contemporary jewellery and have worked as a committee member and chair for 3 years. The ACJ is a partner in many jewellery events such as London Jewellery Week and works to promote an interest in all things jewellery for makers, collectors and educators.

As well as participating in shows organised through the CBS and the ACJ I also exhibit regularly throughout the UK. Earlier this year I took part in a selling event in Seattle, which was organised through the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

For up to date news about my next events have a look at my news page.