Contemporary Jewellery by Helen Markham

Helen Markham is a jewellery designer and maker based in Manchester. She divides her time between making from her home studio in Tyldesley, and shared workspace at Manchester Craft and Design Centre where she works alongside Deborah O’Neill and Eve Redmond.

Helen creates predominantly silver jewellery, but combines this with gold, base metals, and precious stones. Her work plays with contrasts inspired by the deterioration of materials and natural form. Drawing from photographs and sketches she recreates the patterns, textures, colours and shapes from these images & transfers them into her unique designs. A variety of techniques go into the making of Helens work, forging, fusing, setting & piercing naming just a few. Many of these he discovered whilst attending the University of Cumbria where she studied Contemporary Jewellery.

No5 small silver brooch

“For me university was a time to explore and regain my creativity. Out of all the materials we sampled with, metal was where I felt at home. It’s a wonderful material, being both incredibly strong and durable, and yet extremely malleable. When raising metal you start off with it being annealed so it is soft and pliable enough to work with. When worked the metal strengthens and hardens which makes it so ideal for jewellery. Metal has so many possibilities, and that’s what keeps it fresh and exciting. Taking a piece of flat metal, and transforming it into a three dimensional object for me is magical, and no matter how many times I go through this process, it still amazes me. Each piece I make is different and unique; they all have there own personalities, formed and shaped by hand, the process and the piece becoming one”

Since graduating in 2010 with a first class BA Honours degree specialising in contemporary jewellery, Helen moved back to the northwest, becoming a self employed jeweller shortly after. Since then she has strived to develop her techniques, leading to her current ranges of work which can be viewed on her website, or seen at Manchester Craft and Design Centre in studio 22 Divinity.”


“The craft centre is a constant source of inspiration being surrounded by so many talented makers all under one roof. Studio Divinity is a wonderful store to work in, & has been open for over 10 years. As well as being a fully equipped working studio, it sells a fantastic variety of jewellery that will suit all tastes. Im very lucky to be able to work, make & sell my work there, the owners Eve and Deborah are wonderful jewellers who have helped me hugely over the past year with my business”

The craft centre houses a variety of arts and crafts, from ceramics and textiles, to pewter, jewellery, paintings and more. So if your looking to be inspired, wish to meet Helen or any of the other makers, or want to purchase a handmade gift then come and visit Manchester Craft and Design Centre.

No1 forged rings

No2 forged bangles

No3 Forged garnets hoops

This year Helen shall be taking part in the 2013 British Craft Trade Fair, which takes place in Harrogate Between 7th – 9th April. Helen shall be part of the New Comers stand (stand N54), and shall be displaying her latest creations and ranges. You can find all of her latest events and stockists posted on her website and on facebook.

No4 red Jewelled penant

Helen Markham Contemporary Jewellery Website and Facebook.

2 Responses to “Contemporary Jewellery by Helen Markham”
  1. imogeng says:

    I love it!!!!!! where can I get some?

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