Our featured maker for July 2010 was Gilly Langton, a jeweller based in Plockton at the north west coast of Scotland.
“Since I was a small child I have drawn and made things. I started my jewellery business at the tender age of 13, making and selling Fimo jewellery to all my friends and teachers at school.”
Gilly studied a BA in Silversmithing and Jewellery at Loughborough College of Art and Design, graduating in 1995.
“I remain as passionate about the craft as I was back then and can never imagine any other career than been a jeweller and working in this creative craft sector.”
Since 1995, Gilly has worked as an artist in residence in various locations around the UK, including Wigan and Kilmarnock, and Plockton. It was the latter residency which inspired a life changing decision, as Gilly made the decision to leave Manchester and relocate to this remote Highland village.
“Living in the Highlands has thrown up many new challenges, distance being a particular difficulty when planning shows. It takes a day to get anywhere south of here so I spend many a train journey finishing off jewellery when travelling to Origin or Lustre.”
However, this new location has opened up a world of creative possibilities for Gilly.
“Living by the sea is very inspiring, I look to the boats and yachts for their ropes and pulley’s, bright orange life rings and buoy’s bobbing about in the water.”
This inspiration is reflected in the vibrant, eye-catching jewellery Gilly designs and makes. “Crisp white silver contrasted with bright coloured elastic is used to create my minimal pieces of jewellery.”
“I am driven by the desire to constantly improve my work, challenge myself and my ability to make better work each year, focusing on new exhibitions, projects and residencies.”
As well as working as a mentor on the HI-Arts Making Progress scheme, Gilly has a host of events and exhibitions coming up in 2010.
“It been a really busy year so far, with my first European Show called Eu-nique in Germany this May, my summer show in Plockton which is on right now and then preparations for Origin and the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in September and October.”
“I’m loving every minute of it!”