Thursday, 6 September 2012

ACJ East Midlands

'The Association for Contemporary Jewellery is devoted to the promotion, representation, understanding and development of contemporary jewellery in the United Kingdom and abroad.'
- From the ACJ website 
The Association for Contemporary Jewellery organises conferences, lectures, workshops as well as holding an annual general meeting. ACJ members benefit from attendance at these meetings as well as receiving discounts at selected companies, a regular newsletter and a monthly e-bulletin. The ACJ also has regional groups all over the country from Dundee to Cornwall where members can meet up to discuss work, plan exhibitions and promote both their work and the ACJ. Membership of the association ranges from practising jewellers, designers and crafts people to educators, students, gallery owners, retailers, curators and collectors. Pretty much anyone with an interest in contemporary jewellery!

The newest ACJ group is ACJ East Midlands which started it's life as ACJ Leicester. After moving to Leicestershire from Dundee I realised that I did not know any jewellers in the area and there didn't seem to be a regional group nearby. I had been a member of ACJ Dundee and attended meetings whenever I could so I contacted the ACJ to see what I could do regarding starting a group and meeting people.

A call for members was put in the e-bulletin and slowly I received emails from jewellers who were interested in joining. As many of the jewellers were from further afield than Leicester the decision was made to re-name the group ACJ East Midlands.

The inaugural meeting was not easy to arrange, it took three attempts to find a day where more than two people could attend but we managed it on 23rd October 2012 in The Slug and Lettuce in Leicester!

Myself, Helen Shere, Mary Graham and Anna Pope (Anna isn't an ACJ member yet but we gave her the hard sell!) all met for the first time to discuss what we would like from the group and what we should do next.

The meeting was very productive and the very next day we got to work with our tasks of arranging an exhibition, setting up a facebook page and spreading the word about ACJ East Midlands.

So we now have an ACJ East Midlands facebook page, we have an exhibition arranged at Focus Gallery in Nottingham at Christmas and hopefully our numbers will grow.

If you are interested in joining the ACJ or ACJ East Midlands please get in touch. We also still have space in our winter exhibition at Focus Gallery so please do get in touch regarding this as well!

Happy making!

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