• Nick Smith Wins People’s Choice Award in the International Ice Carving Competition


    QEST Scholar Nick Smith and his team mate Samuel Swanborough were presented with the People’s Choice Award at the 2020 Ice Magic International Ice Carving Competition last week for their entry, ‘Frozeidon – God of the Lake’.  Nick and Sam were invited to compete alongside the other entrants and the event featured a very high standard of sculptural pieces. 

    Held at the Fairmont Chateau in Lake Louise, Canada, the sculptors worked for two and a half days in temperatures between -12 and -34 degrees Celsius. 

    “It was very challenging working in such temperatures,” says Nick, “but humbling to work alongside such masters, and we hope to return next year.”

    Nick and Sam are pictured here being presented with their award by a Canadian Mountie.

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  • Sculpture by Poppy Field Selected for the Royal Society of British Artists’ Annual Exhibition


    Work by QEST Finnis Scott Foundation Scholar Poppy Field has been selected from over 1,500 entries to appear alongside artworks by some of Britain’s leading artists. The Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition will be on display at Mall Galleries from 20 to 29 February 2020.

    Poppy is a figurative sculptor who works from the life model under natural north light, modelling in clay and casting in bronze. In parallel with commissioned sculptures, she is working on a series of life-size figures to create an empowering iconography for young women. The first figure in this series, Everything is Now, 2018 was sold at auction at the V&A Museum in March 2019, organised by the QEST, and installed in a private garden in The Chilterns. A 45cm bronze reduction of Everything is Now will feature in the RBA Annual Exhibition (edition of 10).

    The Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of skill, concept and draughtsmanship in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing.  Their exhibitions include an eclectic mix of sculpture and paintings in all media.

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  • Bespoke Shoemaker Adele Williamson Features in Drapers 30 Under 30


    Huge congratulations to QEST Radcliffe Trust Apprentice Adele Williamson who has been included in the Drapers 30 Under 30 list.  Now in its 11th year, this programme focuses on those taking their first steps on the career ladder, and turns the spotlight on the young names to know.   The list includes sustainable entrepreneurs, creative forces, brilliant buyers and shop floor stars.

    Adele became the first female apprentice  to work at Trickers in 2016 and is in the third year of her apprenticeship.  She now creates the majority of the brand’s bespoke orders.

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  • Celia Dowson Receives Wallpaper* Design Award 2020


    Celia Dowson has been awarded a Wallpaper* Design Award 2020 for her smoky coral Rhossili Collection platter.  The piece was first exhibited at Decorex as part of Future Heritage in 2019 and it will be on show again at Collect 2020 (22 February – 1 March) with Bullseye Projects.

    Through form and colour Celia explores the interactions of light and surface to create dynamic visual effects in glass. She draws inspiration from the breadth of the natural world. The Rhossili collection developed from observations of the Gower peninsular in Wales. Using colour to capture the changing light of the sky she introduced varying thickness’ of glass and lensed areas to create subtle shifts in the colours. These qualities play with convex and concave shapes making inside spaces sometimes seem solid.  She is keen for her work to speak quietly, bringing importance to daily routines and rituals as well as the movement and transitioning in the world around us.

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  • Hayley Gibbs’ Statue of Lady Astor Unveiled by Theresa May


    Huge congratulations to QEST Scholar Hayley Gibbs whose statue of Nancy Astor was unveiled by Theresa May on 28th November 2019.

    Plymouth made history in 1919 when it elected Nancy Astor, the first female MP ever to take a seat in Parliament, and the statue was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of this landmark event. It is outside the MP’s former home on Plymouth Hoe.

    The client commented, “Hayley was quite exceptional and has produced an extraordinary work of art – not just a statue. It was an absolute pleasure working with her on this historic project, her research, forensic attention to detail and teamwork combined with her obvious creative skills has made this very, very, special indeed.”


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  • Coppersmith Siân Evans Represents Great Britain at the 1st International Handicrafters Festival


    QEST Scholar Siân Evans was honoured to represent Great Britain in Uzbekistan for the 1st International Handicrafters Festival in September.  The event gathered more than 600 artisans from 79 countries in Kokand, a city recently granted the status of Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art by the World Crafts Council.

    Siân was invited by The Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in London to demonstrate coppersmithing and talk about her work. According to The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts she is one of only five known ornamental coppersmiths working in the UK today and the idea of cultural preservation through the language of crafts skills was a core theme at the Festival.

    The event was held in the grounds of the Palace of Khudoyar-Khan, where a village of yurts, tents, marquees and huts had sprung up, each housing a working craftsperson.  During the opening ceremony the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, spoke of the value of craftsmanship in universal culture and how it “occupies a special place in the life of each nation, shaping its mentality and values”.  He added, “the craftsmanship derives inspiration in harmony with nature” and that in order to “breathe life” to an ordinary clay, piece of metal or wood… there needed to be not only scrupulous work, but also the warmth of human soul”.

    “The final two days of the festival were spent meeting new people,” says Siân, “discovering beautiful work, sharing skills, laughing and dancing. Many craftspeople, especially those in obscure or dying crafts, spend a lot of time working in isolation, so this new sense of a global community was not only profound, it was a revelation.”

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