Penny Akester - Jewellery Tutor
Beading (All Levels), Beginners Silver, Metal Clay
Previous Qualifications & Training:
I have a degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing from Loughborough University (1999) as well as having done countless short courses in many different jewellery techniques both before and since then in bead stringing, silver clay, stitched beadwork, chain mail and braiding. I have also hold a teaching qualification.
How I got involved in making jewellery:
I’ve been making jewellery since I was at school. I first worked with silver at a local evening course and summer school as a teenager. I loved working with silver and finding I could manipulate solid metal to do what I wanted as well as the chance to create unique items that I could then wear myself. I went on to do a degree in Jewellery & Silversmithing and I’ve been making jewellery for sale and as a hobby ever since, both in silver as well as using beads and many other materials.
Things I have done:
Walked on fire (for charity)
Had a stall in Camden market
Volunteered as an exhibition assistant for some great art exhibitions
Worked as a secretary for over 8 years before deciding to do jewellery making and teaching full time
Things I do now:
I have been working full time as a jeweller and jewellery teacher since 2009. As well as teaching at the London Jewellery School and various other places, I am currently taking a short break from making jewellery for sale while I study towards an MA in Jewellery Design.
My biggest achievement so far:
Becoming a jewellery teacher! I’d never fancied becoming a school teacher, but teaching something I love to enthusiastic adults is very different; I’ve discovered that I really love teaching jewellery making and encouraging others to indulge in this fantastic and addictive pastime.
Things I hope to achieve in the future:
To keep learning, whether about jewellery making or life in general – however much you know, there’s always so much more to be learnt, and in jewellery making there are so many different techniques and materials to experiment with – there’s something for everyone and always something new to try!
Three words that describe me are:
Creative, patient, calm.
I am inspired by:
I love living in London, and I am inspired by the eclectic mix of people, architecture and cultures that come together here. I am also fascinated by repeating patterns in metal railings and organic shapes such as tree roots. I love unexpected combinations, simplified shapes and bright colours.
My Favourite Jeweller is:
There are so many that create amazing jewellery - I love anything unusual and colourful, but one jeweller whose work particularly fascinates me is Emmeline Hastings who creates amazing sculptural jewellery from carved Perspex, encrusted with tabs of precious metal to add texture and colour, inspired by vibration and sound waves.
Check out my work at: