As I have been a student for the past four years my mind is still set in academic years, so my years run from September to September. Which means this month I am finally no longer a student, or in-between academic courses. Hurrah! I still managed to bag a rail card for another 12 months though, I'm not ready to give up student discounts just yet....
Life has been really busy this last year and I think it's important to stop, take stock, and reflect on what I have achieved, where I am, and where I want to go from here.
At the beginning of this year I wanted to (start and) complete my MA, which I have now done although we still have to wait another month until the grades are released WHICH IS KILLING ME. All my other grades for the course have been in the distinction grouping, but the dissertation grade could change that so I'm on tenterhooks waiting to hear the results. I have never had patience and I certainly don't have it now! So that is done, ONE GOAL ACHIEVED.
Another aim was to get a workshop sorted so I had somewhere to make things. No point in being a silversmith if you don't have anywhere to silversmith. Thanks to a scholarship which came via the MA I now have a purpose built workshop (shed) in my parents garden. TWO GOALS ACHIEVED.
I had three events I wanted to be part of which were time sensitive to new graduates, the Goldsmiths Getting Started Course, Rising Stars exhibition and New Designers One Year On (see previous blogs for further details). SMASHED THESE, ACHIEVEMENT LEVEL GOLD, UNLOCKED.
I wanted to win a competition. Ok, so here is where I stumble a bit, I haven't actually come first in any competitions this year, HOWEVER my work was shortlisted in the Make Your Mark competition last October, one of my designs was awarded second place in the Caddy Spoon Collectors Society competition earlier this year, another design awarded second place in the Huguenot Museum New Silver competition, my copper and enamel bowls made the finals of the National Trust and Crafts Council Open Call, my silver jug set was considered for a Crafts Council collaboration and my silver Browl has received Highly Commended by the Marshwood Arts Awards. So no actual FIRST PLACE wins as yet, but as everything mentioned here was achieved in the last 12 months I'm not too disappointed, its nice to know my hard work IS worth it. I will continue to enter competitions, AND ONE DAY WILL WEAR THE WINNERS CROWN.
I also wanted to increase my skills and this year have had box making training with Nan Nan Lui, along with raising tuition from Andy Putland and Tony Bedford. The former was unexpected and a nice little by product of working for a silversmith, the latter was something I've wanted to get to grips with for ages so MORE GOALS SMASHED.
Alongside all of the above I have also been working one day a week for a silversmith, and part time as a temp. I should be rolling in dollar but instead I've put everything I've earned this year back into my practice, so I'm where I wanted to be with equipment etc. I'm poor and exhausted but happy. SO NOW THE FUN BEGINS. This time last year I knew I would work hard towards my goals, and determination is one thing I have plenty of, but I didn't think I would achieve quite so much. I'm proud! The next 12 months bring a new list of aims, and I intend on doing my best to achieve those too. First on the list is to have my work on show in my beloved Norfolk... this will happen next month, at Norwich Cathedral. I only show at the best, darling! (yes, I am high on coffee)