Nicola was recently proud to sponsor ‘The Nicola Hurst Award,’ given to a student graduating from their final year of studying 3D Design Crafts at Plymouth College of Art.
Nicola has awarded this prize for many years, this year awarding it to Sonia Popiolek. The award was first developed with the aim of allowing emerging artists an opportunity to progress in their field, with the support of an established industry sponsor. Nicola is suited to this perfectly, having developed and flourished over the years as a talented jewellery designer and teacher, who is now in the position to offer her experience and advice to those who are just starting out.
With an Honours degree in Jewellery, Nicola began her career by distributing to galleries across the UK and specialising in commission work. After 20 years away from the South West, she returned to her native Plymouth and worked towards her dream of having her own gallery and workshop, something she achieved in 2006 with the opening of Nicola Hurst Designer Jewellery in Hyde Park Road.
With jewellery that is described as elegant, simple and easy to wear, Nicola takes her inspiration from architecture, simple shapes and everyday living. She delights in commissions and bespoke jewellery, particularly enjoying work with engagement and wedding rings. She has described each one as a joy to work on, knowing that her creations will be a part of someone's special day and will be worn long into the future. Nicola is very well known for her jewellery workshops, where you need to book several months in advance to secure a place.
Plymouth College of Art is dedicated to nurturing creative and innovative talent, with expert tutors and an encouragement towards students developing their own creative strengths. Awards such as the ‘Nicola Hurst Award’ are greatly coveted, as an important step towards a long and successful career.
Nicola commented, ‘As I was a student of Plymouth Art College where I completed the Art Foundation course, it has been important to me to give back what I can. I support the students by offering work placements every term and this award every year.’
The prize is a showcase in a Christmas exhibition, which is the busiest time of the year for the jewellery industry, including any mentoring that the winner may require. This allows the winner to access a wider audience and to engage with the artistic community, a vital stepping stone towards success in their chosen field.