2 Jul 2018

MJQ Jeweller in Residence 2018/19

We're pleased to announce this exciting competition to become the first Jeweller in Residence at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. The competition is open to graduates of the Birmingham School of Jewellery.

Competition Brief

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is built around a perfectly preserved jewellery workshop offering a unique glimpse of working life in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter.

When the proprietors of the Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firm retired in 1981 they simply ceased trading and locked the door, unaware they would be leaving a time capsule for future generations.

Today the factory is a remarkable museum, which tells the story of the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage.

This competition is to:

Design a two-piece jewellery range (pendant necklace and pair of earrings) inspired by the Smith & Pepper catalogue and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

The winning designer will be the first to receive the title of “Museum of the Jewellery Quarter Jeweller in Residence” with the unique opportunity to work from the MJQ’s jeweller’s bench. Additionally, there will be the opportunity to access Birmingham School of Jewellery’s outstanding facilities.

The winner will also receive an exclusive retail contract for their design with Birmingham Museums plus a cash prize of £1000.


Judging the competition will be:

Alex Nicholson-Evans from Birmingham Museums Trust
Laura Cox from Birmingham Museums Trust
Emma Scott from Birmingham Museums Trust
Bridie Lander from BCU School of Jewellery
Dauvit Alexander from BCU School of Jewellery

We are looking for a jeweller who shows passion for the project and the technical and design skills to deliver on the objectives.

The Prize

1. £1000 cash prize.
2. A retail contract with Birmingham Museums of designs created on residency inspired by the Smith & Pepper factory, from 20th November 2018 (or earlier if first piece is commissioned earlier) to 30th September 2019. If sales are strong there may be opportunity to extend. This would include commitment to sale online, at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter under our standard terms.
3. Opportunity to work from the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter’s jewellers bench (ideally a minimum of once per week to showcase the project), once mandatory inductions have been passed
4. Access to the School of Jewellery facilities, once mandatory inductions have been passed.
5. The title of “Museum of the Jewellery Quarter Jeweller In Residence 2018/19”

Competition Rules

  1. Submission by email of digital portfolio of designs before 20th August 2018 to Jenny Thurston, Personal Assistant and Commercial Administrator to the Commercial Director - jenny.thurston@birminghammuseums.org.uk.The portfolio should be a minimum of 6 pdf pages illustrating your design process and final product, or final render of potential product. Include a 100 word rationale of why you would want to be Museum of the Jewellery Quarter Jeweller in Residence and how it would develop your career.
  2. The designer must be a graduate of Birmingham School of Jewellery.
  3. Must be able to start Residency on 1st October 2018 and able to present the first piece in the range by 31st October 2018. The winner agrees to the use of their name and image in any publicity material or media surrounding the Jeweller in Residence competition by Birmingham Museums Trust and Birmingham City University/ School of Jewellery.
  4. Must be willing and confident with public engagement as part of the opportunity is engaging with visitors at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter whilst developing work.
  5. Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the Competition entry, each entrant grants a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual licence to Birmingham Museums Trust and BCU for editorial, marketing, PR, learning and all social media platforms for the promotion of Birmingham Museums Trust and Birmingham City University/ School of Jewellery.

Retail Contract:

  • Jeweller pays in full for creation of product
  • Birmingham Museums Trust (‘BMT’) manages sales internally with sales reports issued monthly to the jeweller
  • Income is split 50:50 (gross) between Jeweller In Residence and BMT
  • The designs are created exclusively for BMT

Time spent at Museum of the Jewellery Quarter:

  • Museum of the Jewellery Quarter is open 10.30am-4pm Tuesday to Saturday
  • You will be asked to engage with the public and showcase your work as part of the MJQ tour
  • You will be asked to contribute to the BMT blog to share your creative journey
  • You will be required to undertake a full induction and to adhere to all health and safety procedures

Time spent at Birmingham School of Jewellery:

  • You will be provided with power and gas keys once you have passed induction training, in exchange for a deposit of £10, refundable upon return at the end of your residency.
  • You will have access to the Schools equipment power and general workshop facilities without any charge once you have passed health and safety check,. However, the use of equipment such as the electroforming/ plating and casting facilities will incur standard charges and are there to support development of your work but not as a commercial service.
  • Workshop access is between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday
  • You may be invited to participate seminar/ discussion sessions and may attend any open lectures and events organised within the school.
  • You will be required to attend regular meetings with the School of Jewellery.

Terms and Conditions

All information detailing how to enter the competition to be featured forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.

1. Entries must be submitted via email by 5.00pm on 20th August 2018.

2. All entries must be received by the advertised closing time and date.

3. Entries must be digital images of designs, either 2D drawings or images of 3D work, submitted by email attachment to Jenny Thurston, Personal Assistant and Commercial Administrator to the Commercial Director jenny.thurston@birminghammuseums.org.uk. Entrants should include their own name, email address, telephone number and a brief description of the design. Name, telephone number and email address will only be used for the purposes of this competition, and not passed on to any third parties. Data will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

4. The winner will be contacted during the week commencing the 10th September.

5. All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them. It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that any designs they submit do not infringe the Intellectual Property of any third party or any laws. Entrants must warrant that the designs they are submitting are their own work.

6. Late, illegible, incomplete, or corrupt entries will not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties.

7. The winning Jeweller will design and manufacture from 1st October 2018 to 30th September 2019 the winner will be asked to produce pendant necklaces and pairs of earrings to a specific retail price point; approximately £60-£100 per item. The winner will be asked to sign an exclusive retail contract with BMT, where the designs are to be sold exclusively through its outlets. Income will be split 50:50 (gross) between the winner and BMT.

8. All prizes are non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives.

9. Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoters and accordingly the Promoters may at their absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoters as a result thereof.

10. English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.
Promoters: Birmingham Museums Trust, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square B3 3DH

11. The prize money and retail contract have no link to employment with Birmingham Museums Trust. If required it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure and evidence that they have any relevant visa permissions.

In partnership with:

Birmingham School of Jewellery