Showcase for students using previously-loved jewellery

Princes Square in Glasgow is to host a new exhibition of jewellery.

This is part of the worldwide Radical Jewellery Makeover project, in conjunction with The Scottish Goldsmith Trust and Ethical Metalsmiths. The exhibition runs from Saturday 26 March – Tuesday 29 March.

Students and staff from Scotland’s art colleges were invited to make new pieces for the exhibition – colleges involved are: The Glasgow School of Art; Glasgow Kelvin College; City of Glasgow College; Edinburgh College of Art; Fife College and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

There will be 70 pieces in the final selection for the exhibition. In addition to support from Princes Square, RJM Scotland has been made possible through support from Culture Business Fund Scotland and Jamieson & Carry.

Radical Jewellery Makeover was developed by Ethical Metalsmiths, an organisation based in the USA, and has travelled the world since 2007. This is the first time it has taken place in the UK.

There was a call-out for unwanted or broken jewellery to be donated to the project – both precious metals and costume jewellery were accepted – the jewellery was sorted through by the students and disassembled so they could create re-imagined and thoughtfully designed pieces. All jewellery featured in the exhibition is for sale and will be available via an online shop.

Some of the pieces featured in the exhibition are described below:

Alexandra Emmeline, student at Edinburgh College of Art, created ‘Reclaim Brooch’: ‘The main body of this brooch began as a ring, hammered flat and embellished with clusters of faux pearls taken from a necklace. This brooch is made of plastic faux pearl beads, steel and copper.’

Maxine Snowden, student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, created ‘Three Little Birds Brooch’: ‘A simplistic yet effective design, making the materials the main focal point of the piece. The piece combines natural and man-made materials—the three pearl beads reminiscent of birds sitting on a tree branch. This brooch is made of driftwood, plastic pearl beads and silver wire.’

Sarah McQuarrie, student at The Glasgow School of Art, created ‘Mismatched Earrings’: ‘These earrings are organic and rugged, playing around with materials to create rough silver circles that transformed them from the original piece. The outcome was unpredictable, thus the mismatched set to accommodate the results. The earrings are made from brass, aluminium, plastic, white metal and yellow metal.’

Maxine Snowden’s creation

Karen Westland, programme manager, Ethical Making, said: ‘We are incredibly grateful for all the public donations which expressed the personalities of those the jewellery belonged to and their desire for shared learning and growth through the transformative project.

‘Through the final jewellery showcased in the exhibition, I feel you can see how participants have grappled with both the donated materials and accompanying stories to respectfully create jewellery which also highlights their ingenuity and individual contemporary styles. The work ranges from precious to non-precious and is designed to be wearable and loved again.’

Honor Dodd, Edinburgh College of Art student and Radical Jewellery Makeover Scotland participant, said: ‘As someone who cares passionately about climate change and the human impact on our earth, I’m glad programmes like this are taking the initiative to get students involved in a hands-on manner in ways to reduce our impact on the earth and do what we can for future generations. This begins to set a precedent and show what can be done.’

Katie Moody, centre director, Princes Square, added: ‘We’re thrilled to be hosting and sponsoring this exciting exhibition. It’s the first time this project has travelled to the UK, and we’re delighted to have been chosen as host. All jewellery will be for sale and we’re sure it will be a big hit with jewellery lovers and visitors to Princes Square.’

With more than 25 retailers and 12 eateries, Princes Square is Glasgow’s premier retail and leisure destination. Located in the heart of the city’s bustling Buchanan Street, the mall provides a shopping haven to lovers of high street and designer fashion, beauty, jewellery, homewares and lifestyle brands while its wide range of bars, restaurants and cafes offers something for every palate.

Opening hours are 10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday and 11-5pm on Sundays.

For more information about Princes Square visit