About Vicky Forrester: Director of Flux Studios.
To complement her working practice, since 1994 she been teaching jewellery making to the community in a variety of contexts – through workshops and specialist short courses and at community and further education colleges in London. (Community Education Lewisham, Morley college, Lambeth college, Westminster Adult Education Service)
Fundamental to her approach to teaching is her own desire to learn and Vicky is always exploring new ways to express ideas through application of new techniques. Most recently Vicky has been exploring CAD and 3D printing using Matrix software.
The making process requires focus; at every stage in the development of a piece of jewellery, challenges arise and choices must be made. The process requires a fluid approach, and every problem arising equally presents opportunity. The final outcome charts this evolving relationship between the idea, the choices made, the application of process, and the behaviour of the material. With a successful piece of jewellery these elements find accord.
Equally important to me in the making process is the notion of intent. As we weave and forge and form our intentions into objects, here we jewellers have the means to exercise alchemy."
Vicky Forrester: Director of Flux Studios. See my bespoke jewellery collections here on my personal website www.vicky-forrester.com
My teaching practice is informed by 30 years of 'making' knowledge, combined with a sound understanding of teaching theory that I gained from teacher-training at Goldsmiths' College (PGCE 1994). It's also influenced by my own experiences as a student in formal and informal education.Since qualifying as a teacher I have taught in a variety of contexts across the educational sectors, (primary / secondary / community / further education and these experiences have equipped me to work effectively with students having a broad range of skills, abilities and needs. Having an overview of all these teaching and learning scenarios I have been able to devise a teaching strategy that borrows the best elements from each.
My own journey into jewellery began in the 1980’s under the expert tutelage of Barbara Christie. This early introduction to the societal impact of adult education, combined with my later experience as a teacher fuelled my desire to actively make space for creative opportunities in the community. The subsequent 30 years of schooling has been formal , specialist (learning with master craftsmen), and community based. Each of these approaches has served me in a timely way to assist in my evolution as a designer, maker and teacher.
Having negotiated my way around all the common business obstacles to successfully run my own jewellery business making and selling my jewellery collections, I was also aware of the problems that can prevent real creative talent from emerging - workshop space, tools and equipment, cashflow, business guidance and advice - and this inspired me to provide a platform that would allow others to thrive in the jewellery sector.
Years of designing and planning courses (LOCN and NCFE), and assessing and advising students, combined with my formal training as a jeweller, businesswoman and qualified teacher have given me the skills to formulate the perfect jewellery learning environment, and this has manifested in Flux Studios. Here is a unique jewellery studio model that brings creativity, community and business together for mutual benefit.
Flux Studios and Community
At Flux we use jewellery as a medium to share with others the amazing transformative power of the creative process.
At an individual level, putting creativity at the heart of the community, we make bonds with the people around us that enrich our daily experiences. We learn from and value the contribution that every visitor to our studio makes. We also encourage a sense of local pride and loyalty that helps our members’ businesses to thrive. We pass on our own craft skills to the next generation of makers and inspire creativity in the great thinkers of tomorrow. In living what we love we show others that it is possible to think differently.
Through our community workshops for local families we plant the seed of creativity; we bring children and adults together to learn practical metal working skills through fun projects. We encourage children to teach parents how to be more expressive.
Having myself gained so much from the generous provision of adult and community education in the 80’s I am conscious of the enormous benefit that this level of education provides. This provision seems elemental to me in the interest of promoting a healthy, respectful and balanced society. Beyond the immediate value of learning new skills (and the subsequent opportunity to enter full time study and employment), adult and community education also provides opportunities for personal growth that defy measure. Such benefits include:
Since June 2009 Southwark Adult Learning Services (SALS) have awarded us contracts to provide short courses in jewellery making for the people of Southwark, as part of their outreach community education programme.
Jewellery by Vicky Forrester.
Images copyright Vicky Forrester. (c)