Artisan Alchemy and a visit to RBSA

On Thursday I was invited to attend a two centre bloggers event. The evening started at  Artisan Alchemy  located at 85 Caroline street in the Jewellery Quarter where we were welcomed by award winning artist  Michele White. Michele opened Artisan Alchemy in 2015 but has had a studio in the jewellery  quarter since 1986. Set in a beautifully renovated 19th century building Artisan Alchemy  also houses workshops, gallery space and a meeting room available for hire. Michele is also a champion of the best of British design, and many fine examples can be seen in her gallery.

Michele makes and displays her exquisite and unique pieces in her gallery, but you can also use her website her unique style of jewellery is not available elsewhere, so if you’re after something beautiful from Michele’s Stock and you can not make it to her showrooms then check out her website.

After viewing some of Michele’s work on display in her showroom we were treated to a glass of chilled wine in the courtyard whilst getting to know our host.  Michele has won first prize in the RBSA prize exhibition and she was president of the society for a number of years.

We then visited the basement which is where Michele has her workshop located and saw just how she makes her pieces. She talked us through the whole jewellery making process without  bogging me down with too much technical jargon.

With her waist length hair, streaked with a hint of lavender and wearing a chic, orange dress, Michele looks every inch the elegant artist and has an obvious passion for her chosen art. She is an incredibly talented lady who creates the most wonderfully  unique, three dimensional art.

Alongside her own jewellery Michele has some beautiful, handcrafted furniture piece available to purchase too.  The furniture is all hand made, high end and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful as well as being very different to anything you would see on the high street. If you are looking for a unique piece that will undoubtedly become a family heirloom this is the place to be.

We were joined for the evening by Will Mundy  and Charlie Adeney  both from Hutchinson Furniture & Interior

Will and Charlie gave us an interesting chat accompanied with a slide show which told us all about the work they do.  They explained the entire process of cabinet making, from the trees being selected and harvested (and replacements being re planted) from their own local woodland, to the design process  and it was all very informative.

You can see some of Hutchinson Furniture & Interiors pieces on display within  Artisan Alchemy alongside other furniture designers pieces.

The Artisan Alchemy is well worth a visit and is  full of  some beautiful items, I particularly loved a slightly tipsy looking table which my camera really couldn’t do justice to.

We then moved around the corner to the the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists  at 4 Brook Street. The RBSA is an artist led charity which supports artists through a range of activities including exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations.  After passing through the ground floor shop, we  were welcomed to the first floor gallery by local artist Ann Hackett.  Ann was to be our tutor for an evening of wine and watercolours, so spurred on by another glass or two of wine we were all encouraged to turn our hand to creating  something beautiful of our own.  Unfortunately I discovered I’m not very artistic but I certainly had a lot of fun and decided I could paint a poppy. Sadly my poppy looked more like roadkill but as I said, it was tremendous fun and Ann was a very patient tutor for a bunch of novices.

The gallery which is located on the top two floors has a changing programme of exhibitions and  the watercolours on display on Thursday include a selection of local scenes. There is a stunning water colour showing the outside of Grand central station with a local bookshop reflecting.  It’s certainly somewhere I’d like to return to in the near future. Although I probably won’t be booking any art workshop as my painting looked very much like something my 4 year old granddaughter would give me.  But should you want to book an art workshop or check out the exhibitions that are on all the details can be found on the website for the RBSA

All in all I had a wonderful evening and to finish it off I was a prize winner. I was lucky enough to be selected as a winner of a beautiful ginkgo necklace which had been made and donated by Michele, but this is not a sponsored post,  it really was just my lucky night.

I’m always happy to discover new and exciting places that I did not previously know about so  this was a doubly delicious evening. I wasn’t completely sure about posting a picture of my attempt at watercolour painting,  but for anyone interested in what I did manage to produce

I don’t think the real artists of Birmingham have any serious competition from me.


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