April 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Through our pretty pages we’ve often promoted The Biscuit Factory as a cool urban choice of venue for North East wedding couples, though it can be of service to brides and grooms in more ways than one.
Beyond its fabulous function spaces, The Biscuit Factory houses the UK’s largest independent contemporary art, craft and design gallery, featuring impressive work by both local and national artists with pieces ranging from paintings, prints and ceramics to furniture, homewares and jewellery.
Not only is the art showcased and admired through exhibitions, but numerous items are also available to buy at the Newcastle-based gallery or online. For wedding couples with an appreciation of art this means the option of setting up a gift account in the gallery, for a wedding present wish list with a difference.
Furthermore, through its impressive jewellery collections, brides and grooms can also source beautifully bespoke gifts for one another and their bridal party, and can even have wedding and engagement rings specially commissioned by jewellers based at the gallery.
We’ll now hand over the blog to The Biscuit Factory’s jewellery curator, Megan Collier, to tell us more about the options, including the latest Botanical Collection of jewellery with stunning handmade pieces inspired by the natural world.
Can you give us a brief overview of the jewellery collections that The Biscuit Factory houses?
megan says: The Biscuit Factory houses one of the largest collections of contemporary handmade jewellery in the North of England. Our pieces are carefully curated each season and are all handmade, original and unique. From affordable statement pieces to high-value wedding bands – we stock a variety of jewellery from the UK’s most talented designers and makers.
How do you choose the designers that you stock/exhibit and do these change from season to season?
We have a few makers who are firm favourites in the gallery and have been with us for years, such as Jessica Briggs, Fran Stunt and Jill Stewart. Their work never fails to be popular with our audiences! Aside from that, I try to bring in a selection of new jewellers for each seasonal show to make sure the collection is fresh and exciting. I tend to find these through hunting online or looking at other galleries and trade fairs. Instagram has a wealth of new and exciting designers to discover so is always a good place to start! I try to look for designers who are doing something a little different or innovative with their work, so the collections at The Biscuit Factory are always giving our audience something new to discover.
Can you tell us about the current Botanical Jewellery collection?
The spring show seemed like the perfect time to explore the world of botanical jewellery, putting the spotlight on artists who take inspiration from the natural world at the time of year when everything is starting to bloom and flourish.
Botanics is a theme explored by many jewellers in many different ways, and our new collection perfectly showcases the diverse range of styles, materials and techniques that makers have used to interpret this theme, each coming up with entirely unique results. Some of the collections have even been specially created just for The Biscuit Factory, too.
From Sue Gregor, who uses real plants in her bright bold acrylic jewellery, to Farrah Al-Dujaili’s Oddical collection made from cutting-edge 3D printing – the jewellers in this show experiment with their craft and break from traditional methods of jewellery making. For this reason, the Botanical Collection appeals to a wide audience.
There are subtle, floral pieces like Yuki Kokai or Lisa Rothwell-Young’s collections, for those who like their jewellery elegant and understated, but there is also bold, statement jewellery, such as Lauren Bell Brown’s Grimms fairy-tale inspired collection, created using handcrafted wax carvings and cuttlefish castings combined with needlepoint embellishment.
Award-winning jeweller John Moore, meanwhile, captures the essence of feathers and the repeating patterns of fish and plants in his decorative Flight and Elytra pieces; and Nettie Birch of nbNg makes fold formed jewellery using aluminium, copper and Sterling silver to create beautiful flowing organic shapes.
Couples have been known to have wedding and engagement rings commissioned at The Biscuit Factory. Can you tell us a little more about this option and what the process involves?
There are a number of jewellers who we work with who can create specially commissioned wedding pieces for us. We have a selection of their work in the gallery that couples can try on and explore for inspiration. We can then order directly from the artist in the right size and desired materials. It’s a great place to find your engagement and wedding rings as it ensures they will be truly unique and handmade by an artist. I think this makes them extra special!
Brides and grooms have also sourced wedding gifts for loved ones and each other from designers at The Biscuit Factory. What types of items have they bought and what would you suggest from the current collections that would make lovely wedding gifts?
There’s plenty to choose from in the way of wedding gifts from our collections. Handmade, unique cufflinks are always a popular choice when buying gifts for the groom or groomsmen. We also have very affordable and pretty silver necklaces, bracelets and earrings made with semi-precious stones and molten metals which could make perfect bridesmaid gifts.
Also, what would you suggest for brides looking to add some individual jewellery to their big day look?
Artists Trevor Forrester, Lisa Rothwell-Young and Mabel Hasell make beautiful silver, gold and gemstone pieces which would be perfect for wedding day jewellery. They are elegant and delicate but very unique and would make a very individual wedding day look.
What do couples like about the jewellery collections on offer at The Biscuit Factory?
Couples love how unique all of the collections are that we have at The Biscuit Factory. All of the work on display is handmade by artists and often one of a kind. These aren’t the sort of pieces you would find on the high street and I think this is what draws couples to our jewellery collections for their wedding day. As we try and explore so many different processes and materials in the collections we showcase at the gallery, many people find something completely different and unexpected that they instantly fall in love with.
As part of their wedding gift list, brides and grooms can set up a gallery gift account. Can you tell us a little about this and the types of items they could buy from the gallery via their account?
Couples can set up their very own gift account in the gallery, which their guests can contribute to. The bride and groom can then choose artwork for their home – encompassing everything from paintings and original prints to glass, sculpture and ceramics – to commemorate their new life together as newlyweds. Our team are happy to provide a personal consultation and can offer expert curatorial advice on how to display the piece in your home to maximise its true worth to you.
How can our readers find out more about The Biscuit Factory’s designers and jewellery collections?
Check out The Biscuit Factory’s website where we have highlights from all of our jewellers for people to explore and purchase online. Readers can also delve into the Botanical Collection to get a flavour of the exhibition. And, of course, pop in and see us in the gallery! We are always happy to show people the jewellery displays and tell them a little bit more about the artists and their work.
Any other exciting news to share or events to tell us about?
The Biscuit Factory will be holding its next Wedding Open Day on Saturday 12th May 2018, and we’ll be hosting a boutique jewellery pop up at the event, showcasing pieces from some of our favourite jewellers this season. We’ll also have a special offer available exclusively to couples who attend on the day, so look out for more details online!
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…
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