You may (or not) know that the Scottish Goldsmith Trust (SGT) started a programme last year that is designed to encourage and enhance ethical making within the precious metal, jewellery & silversmith classes and courses throughout Scotland. CSSJ is represented by 2 student ambassadors, myself (Gillian Lester) and Kara Mackay.
We attend a bi-monthly meeting to learn about the issues behind the need for such a programme, to hear from established practitioners about their views and practices, to discuss best practice for our contemporary education facilities and to share ideas and the challenges that some colleges face.
You’ll not be surprised to learn that CSSJ, under Jo’s beautiful beady eyes, is an examplar of what to do right, so pretty much all of our practice is ethically orientated. This ranges from reducing waste paper by using old tea towels at the pickle and cleaning station, weighing ALL the waste created in the studio and workshops, reclaiming sweep wastes, using as much sustainably produced/recycled materials as possible , recycling and reclaiming as much as possible, purchasing wisely, using local and/or fair-traded items (inc our much loved Tunnocks teacakes!). That’s on top of the excellent teaching skills and superb programme of class projects and day workshops available to everyone, regardless of anyone’s creative/technical ability. Each class and workshop also provides access to subsidised places, where needed. Wowser! We are so lucky to have this all readily available and presented with smiles and a huge amount of goodwill from every member of staff, past and present! Of course, it’s not luck. It is due to the ethos of CSSJ, the willpower and determination of it’s founder, Jo Pudulko, the amazing staff team and the manner in which it is delivered. Each week, something happens to help me appreciate how very special our training experience is.
Ethical Making Ambassador