‘Handmade by Machines’ at The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, is a visitor centre, exhibition space and events venue situated in the heart of Glasgow, just off the Style Mile. The Lighthouse acts as a beacon for the creative industries in Scotland and promotes design and architecture through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events.

About Us, The Lighthouse

I first came across the exhibition, Handmade by Machines, when I received my newsletter from Eventbrite Edinburgh. A symposium was held on Thursday 19th June at The Lighthouse in Glasgow to introduce how technology is used with traditional jewellery making techniques in contemporary jewellery design. The exhibition at the Long Gallery on the 5th floor was then open to the public from 20th June to 13th July.

I hadn’t had a chance to make it through so unfortunately made it on the last day, but it was still an interesting visit for me. As a jewellery designing enthusiast, it’s always interesting to know what others have made with their own two hands and more inspiring to see where they get their ideas from. When we arrived at Mitchell Lane, there was a fluorescent neon light hung on the side of the neighbouring building, but it wasn’t clear where the entrance was. It seems like you’re encouraged to walk down a narrow alleyway to get robbed, but you don’t have to walk far to see the welcoming fluorescent blue sign for The Lighthouse.

Below are photos I took from the exhibition of handmade pieces of jewellery and accessories made from acrylic, leather, resin and precious metals amongst other materials from students and staff at colleges across the Western regions. What was also of interest for me was experimenting on the photography techniques and information I came away with from the Millennium Hotel Glasgow #toastofthetown event with Dreghorn Photography Studio.

You can easily see from the pieces how nature and contemporary design have influenced these handmade pieces. The attention to detail paid to the acrylic dragonfly wings and wire flower pendant set as well as care and patience taken to engrave the precious metal boxes or to cut the flower pom pom necklace and brooch is astounding.

My favourite piece? The pear shaped hollow pendant with a separate cover piece that sits in place, hiding the set gemstone at the cup of the pendant. It’s an idea that has taken root in my own mind, that I like the hidden and small surprise aspect of jewellery that makes it unique. I also really like the be and honeycomb ladle and bowl. It can’t be any more inspiring than someone who can come up with the concept of using the inspiration from a honeycomb as the design for the ladle spoon!

For other exhibitions on design and architecture, visit their website for more information.

The Lighthouse is located at 11 Mitchell Lane in Glasgow and is open between 10:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, and 12:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday.

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