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Celebrating Materials and Form: we partner with The Pewterers

Design-Nation is delighted to announce our new partnership with The Worshipful Company of Pewterers for their annual celebration of craft in this beautiful material, Pewter Live. In 2021 Pewter Live will be a virtual event running from 18 to 20 May, with the ambition of encouraging innovation in design in order to exploit pewter to its fullest potential. The aim of this annual event is to bring pewter alive; to demonstrate an understanding of its inherent qualities, its appeal and relevance to contemporary consumers of all ages and tastes.​

Designers from the Design-Nation portfolio are featured in talk events on the evening of Wednesday 19 May:

17.30 Metalsmith and jeweller Amy Leigh will deliver a keynote address about her environmentally friendly practice, creating beautiful vessels and distinctive wearable art jewellery.

18.15 Design-Nation’s portfolio of contemporary designer-makers have wide and imaginative ways of designing and using materials, metal and many other substances. This discussion will look at how designers approach the process of creating vessels and other 3D forms. Speakers are artist in metal Jacky Oliver, lighting designer Rachel Fitzpatrick, and Design-Nation’s Liz Cooper, who will introduce the topic with a short reflection on the achievements of the late Miranda Watkins, an outstanding product designer who worked with Wentworth Pewter on several ranges, winning Design-Nation’s Eureka award in 2008.

Register here for Pewter Live.


Amy Leigh is an environmentally conscious, contemporary designer and maker of jewellery and decorative objects. Each piece is unique and handcrafted by Amy in her Suffolk studio, using sustainable materials and innovative techniques. Amy has a First-Class honours degree in Design Crafts from De Montfort University where she specialised in contemporary jewellery design and metalwork. In the studio she continues to develop her recognisable signature technique: melting pewter to a liquid state before rapidly cooling it in water, capturing the energetic and fluid form of the once molten metal. The spontaneity of this process ensures each piece is different.

Jacky Oliver: Working mainly in metal, including steel, enamel and pewter, Jacky creates small hand held objects through to large-scale architectural pieces; for commissions, exhibitions and residencies throughout the UK. With a broad and open approach Jacky’s work explores a variety of themes, interrogating the qualities of different techniques and processes to evoke a narrative.

Rachel Fitzpatrick works at the interface between art and design using a variety of tactile materials to create playful one-off installations and limited edition pieces in contemporary lighting, for corporate and private interiors and special events. Although she uses a variety of materials, Rachel’s favourite material and the one she is most drawn to is Velcro (hook and loop tape).

Liz Cooper is Design-Nation’s development manager.

About Pewter Live and The Worshipful Company of Pewterers

Pewter Live has taken place in the heart of the City of London, at Pewterers’ Hall, since 1988. It is an annual European Design Competition organised by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers to promote the use of pewter in modern products. It comprises two separate competitions, one exclusively for students of all ages from colleges and universities, and the other an open competition. In 2021 it will be virtual for the first time.

Pewter Live promotes the design and sale of traditional and contemporary pewter products in the UK and supports the trade from small individual craftspeople to the large pewter manufacturers. The designers use exceptional handcrafted skills to create their pieces, applying techniques that have been passed down over the centuries.

The Pewterers’ Company is an ancient and continually evolving foundation with ​​​medieval origins as a City Guild​​​​​​. The first charter was granted by King Edward IV in 1473.  It is number sixteen in the order of civic precedence among over a hundred livery companies. The Company has an active, involved and diverse membership of individuals drawn from a wide range of backgrounds. The Company’s principal activities include support of the pewter trade in this country and the management of its charities.

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Liz Cooper


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