Rachael Colley

2021 QEST Howdens Scholar - Silversmithing & Jewellery
South Yorkshire

Rachael is a jeweller and sculptor working predominantly in metals. She began her career by studying 3D Design: Jewellery and Silversmithing at Loughborough University before gaining an MA in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery from the Royal College of Art in 2010. She has since been working as a senior lecturer in jewellery and metalwork.  

Her main area of interest is cutlery and tableware, a craft at the heart of Sheffield’s heritage, which features on the Heritage Craft Association’s Red List of Endangered Crafts 2021. A QEST Scholarship will enable her to train with master craftsmen Brett Payne and Chris Knight, enabling her to further her traditional silversmithing skills, including forging, raising and tooling fabrication.

Rachael plans to design and create a new range of cutlery and tableware, and looks forward to being able to participate in Sheffield’s world-renowned cutlery industry, supporting endangered crafts through innovative uses of traditional skills. 

I think through materials and making, which enable me to communicate aspects of my lived experience through the creation of a range of ambiguous artefacts, from cutlery and jewellery to sculptural installations. I’m keen to explore and challenge societal issues surrounding consumption through the use of food waste, representing it as a luxury material.