Art / Craft Scotland / Collect 2023
"Enamel is crucial to my work and allows me to use all the amazing colours that inform my work."
Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Jeweller & Enameler
Elizabeth Jane Campbell is an award-winning jeweller and enameler creating statement jewellery and small-scale objects inspired by visual literacy and colour theory.
Hi Elizabeth Jane, thank you for talking with The New Current. How has everything been going?
Good thanks! 2023 has been off to a busy start!
Congratulations on being part of Craft Scotland at Collect 2023! Are you excited to be part of such an impressive line-up of Scottish-based Makers?
Thanks! I’m really excited to be part of the Craft Scotland’s cohort for Collect 2023 – to be selected was a real honour and a great boost. Craft Scotland has a fantastic line up for Collect – it’s a really exciting and diverse mix of makers so I’m thrilled to be part of it, especially as the only jeweller!
Will there be any nerves ahead of Collect 2023, or do you think you are going to be able to relax and enjoy the whole experience?
There were definitely some nerves during the making process! The work I’ve created is a new direction for me, and I’ve really challenged myself with the designs and in the making process. Now that the work is completed and handed-in, I can relax and enjoy Collect!
How essential are creative opportunities like Craft Scotland and Collect 2023?
Creative opportunities are essential for the creative field, and I feel very fortunate to have received support and encouragement from Craft Scotland.
An opportunity to exhibit at Collect is really career changing – Collect is an international art fair so to have exposure on this level is priceless.
What more do you think can be done to champion and support future independent Makers?
I think the dialogues between art colleges/educational institutions and organisations like Craft Scotland are really important to ensure future makers have the knowledge and support to develop within their fields.
It’s important that future makers are encouraged to ensure a vibrant and diverse future for the applied arts.
Where did your passion for jewellery originate?
My interest in jewellery started long before attending Art College, but I was lucky to be able to explore various disciplines throughout my education. Jewellery was always the subject that inspired me - working at a smaller scale, using precious materials, and the traditional process of enamelling really appealed to me and brought me a lot of joy (it still does!) so it was clear that was my path.
Was it always your intention to hand-finish each of your pieces?
All of work is hand-made and hand-finished. For me, it’s crucial that each piece has evidence of the artist that made it – so in each of my artworks you can see my ‘maker’s-mark’ and my individual working method.
What was your time like at the Edinburgh College of Art?
I studied Jewellery & Silversmithing at Edinburgh Art College, and graduated in 2013. My time at Art College was fantastic – it was challenging, enlightening, hard-work and fun. I met some of the most wonderful people during my studies, and they are still my best friends and colleagues.
You also spent a year as an Artist in Residence at Glasgow School of Art, how much did your time here influence the type of work you wanted to create?
My residency at Glasgow School of Art was really eye-opening – GSA was very different to ECA where I had studied, and it was fantastic to experience a whole new style of art institution. The residency allowed me the chance to explore larger scale enamelling, and this is something that I have revisited for Collect 2023. I had the chance to explore enamelling and metalworking, while also working with current students which was very rewarding.
Would you be able to take me through the pieces you are going to showcase at Craft Scotland and Collect 2023?
For Collect 2023 I've focused on the secondary colour - purple, orange and green.
I am obsessed by colour, and have used this as a chance to research and explore these 3 colours and their fascinating histories - making a piece in response to each colour. I wanted to challenge myself not only with the colour and design of these new pieces, but also to create a larger work - expanding my scale to enamelled silversmithing for the first time in almost 10 years.
How best do these piece represent you and the work you are creating?
My collection for Collect 2023 perfectly represents my love of colour, enamel and design.
Although the work is departure from my usual style, it is still very much of my own visual language – the use of simple shapes, negative space, and vibrant enamel colours all represent me as an artist and a maker.
All the work is focused on the use of enamel – a very traditional process that I have used in a bold and contemporary way.
Can you take me through how visual literacy and colour theatre inspires your work?
Visual literacy is essentially how we interpret and understand the visual world around us. Shapes and colours have associations and meanings to us all - often subconscious - and this informs all areas of life.
In my work I explore shape, colour and balance to describe certain ideas or to demonstrate a particular visual concept, such as a Bauhaus ideologies or the meaning of a colour.
Enamel is crucial to my work and allows me to use all the amazing colours that inform my work.
How much has your style and approach to your work changed since you started out?
My style and approach has changed massively since I first graduated! The main change has come through gaining confidence in my one creative voice – I make work that I am passionate and enthusiastic about, and I think comes across to the viewer, regardless of whether the work matches their tastes or not.
What top 3 tips would you offer an emerging jeweller and enameler?
My advice to any emerging artist or creative is just do it, try it, and give things a shot. You’ll never progress by staying in your comfort zone so it’s important to try new things and push yourself. Sometimes things don’t work, but that doesn’t mean it’s a failure – that’s just how you learn and grow.
And finally, what would you like to take away from being part of Craft Scotland at Collect 2023?
I’m already taking away a refreshed excitement for enamelling on a larger scale, which is something I will be developing for the rest of the year. I’m also excited to continue the use of new colours in my enamelling.
I’m really grateful for the opportunity to exhibit with Craft Scotland at Collect as it’s been a fantastic chance to develop this new body of work – I hope the work is well received and people enjoy it as much as I do.