New jewelry studio opens in Bridgeton

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The Bench, a jewelry studio run by Glasgow couple Ellys and Mark, officially opened on July 22 after several months in business.

The space hosts five different jewelers and features handcrafted benches by a former City of Glasgow College student. Ellys and Mark met during a Starbucks shift several years ago in Glasgow. She studied silversmithing and jewelery at the Glasgow School of Art. Mark took a course in Crafts with Design at City of Glasgow College after his computer animation and digital art design didn’t get him where he wanted to go.

Airdrie born Ellys and Paisley born Mark have always talked to each other about how amazing it would be to open a shared workshop, but they never thought it could become a reality. They started saving for their first home, but were disappointed with the state of the housing market. That’s when they decided to open The Bench.

The couple first got the keys to the space in March, and after a month of hard work and renovations, it was ready in April. Most of the work was done by the couple themselves with help from friends and family.

Ellys, who had been to communal workshops in the past, had a clear idea of ​​what the space was going to look like.

Mark says: “We both wanted it to be very welcoming, peaceful and also spacious so that our creators would have enough personal space in the common workshop.”

But transforming the space into what it is today was no easy task. Ellys says: “I don’t think we would have made it without the help of the family, we had a lot of help painting and moving everything which we really enjoyed. My grandmother, who is a retired carpenter, helped us enormously. He helped where he could: put up shelves, help Mark with the benches and pass on his knowledge. We really can’t thank him enough.

The initial idea was not to make The Bench a jewelry studio specifically. “Talking to other jewelers and hearing how hard it seems to find workshop space was the main reason The Bench became a jewelry workshop,” says Mark.

“Ellys had quite a bit of experience and was fortunate to have been trained by industry experts, so imparting those skills was something we wanted to consider when considering what to devote the space to. says Mark.

The Bench is now home to Wear With Grace Studio, Mmurrayjewellery, Freya Jevons, Lyondaw and Ellys May Jewellery. Five very different jewelers with very different techniques who can now work artisans of their own trade.

The young couple would like to expand The Bench to other sectors. It is a dream for them to have their own building which can provide workshop spaces for jewelers, carpenters, ceramists and all other artists. But right now, they’re thrilled to have The Bench up and running and to have “a great group of makers” filling their benches.

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