Date that this item was entered on to the web-site: 8th February 2005.


Wendy Ramshaw CBE - a still from the video interview
Interior of Wendy Ramshaw's workshop, showing the enamel kiln and enamels in bottles.

Wendy Ramshaw CBE, jeweller and designer

Wendy Ramshaw was interviewed at her home on 7th February 2005. The interviewer was Elizabeth Turrell, Senior Research Fellow in Enamel. The interview was the third in a series funded by University of the West of England's Faculty of Art Media and Design's Research Committee. The interviews in this series are with artists who use enamel as a significant element of their work.

Wendy Ramshaw is one of Britain's best known, most decorated and most versatile craftspeople. Having made an international reputation as a jeweller of consummate skill and inventiveness using a wide range of materials, Wendy's output in recent years has become more directed towards large scale, site-specific pieces. These have included gates, screens and more sculputral pieces in materials such as glass and steel.

Since her student days as a trainee teacher in Reading, Wendy has experimented with enamel and it has appeared regularly in her work ever since.

A brief chronology of Wendy's career, (by no means exhaustive!)

Born Sunderland.

Made 'trinkets out of scraps of fabric and barbola'.

Visited the Festival of Britain, her first experience of modern art and architecture and a spur to art college attendance.

Studied illustration & fabric design at Newcastle-on-Tyne College of Art and Industrial Design.

Reading University, Art Teacher's Diploma. Studied etching but was far more interested in the copper plates and made earrings from them.

Crafts Centre at Hay Hill showed her metal jewellery and batik.
With husband David Watkins made 'Optik Jewellery' from Perspex and sold through boutiques such as Bazaar. They also made self-assembly paper jewellery which proved very popular and received a great deal of media coverage.

Earned a living designing and printing fabrics, drawing, illustration, lecturing and teaching.

Postgraduate Studies at Central School of Art and Design and a member of staff.
Decided to be a full-time professional jeweller.

Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

Retrospective exhibition at the V&A Museum, (6 October 1982 - 16 January 1983).

Lady Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) - for services to art.

1996 -
Visiting Professor, Royal College of Art, London

Honorary Fellow of the London Institute.
Elected RDI, Royal Designer for Industry.

Made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), for services to art.