10th November - 28th January 2007
'Ten Years On'

A Special exhibition and competition to celebrate
a decade of Kath Libbert Jewellery at Salts Mill.

Telegraph & Argus, August 2006 preview of Ten Years On

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Gem of an idea for mill's anniversary
Jewellery specialist Kath Libbert has come up with a gem of an idea to celebrate a decade in business. To mark the occasion at her gallery and shop in Salts Mill she has challenged 35 jewellers and designers from the UK and Europe to create a winning piece of work inspired by the gallery's own lofty surrounds. The winner of the competition with its Mill in Miniature theme will get 500 in prize money - and the public will get to select their own winner too. The lucky winner of the vote will be asked to take on a commission from the Silver family, who own Salts Mill. All the competition entries will be featured in the '10 Years On' exhibition which opens on November 9 and will run until January 28 next year. Kath Libbert said: "Many of the designers have visited Salts and have a great affection for it, so part of my thinking behind the competition was to give them the opportunity not only to be involved in celebrating our ten years here, but also to reflect their impressions of the mill. I can't wait to see what they produce - I know there will be some very imaginative responses. Inspiration could come from the mill's architecture, the workers, the textiles it produced or Titus Salt himself." She said the gamble she took in 1996 to move her business from a table-top stall in Leeds' Corn Exchange to Salts Mill has paid off. And she has pledged to stay at Salts to see her business expand: "I want the expansion to happen right here, it's a special and unique place," she said. . "I've no desire to go anywhere else. I want our reputation to develop more and more, there is still plenty of potential for that to happen here." In the early days she managed to juggle the gallery with working as a community mental health psychologist but gave it up to concentrate on her new career. Ten years on the gallery has made a reputation tor itself as the region's only showcase specialising in contemporary jewellery, silver and metalsmithing. She travels widely seeking out new talent but confesses to not planning much ahead: "I'm not a great planner ahead, I like things to be fresh and stay fresh."
More than 70 designers from the cream of British talent, up-and-coming designers and top European names get to feature their work at the mill throughout the year. Next year she hopes to pull off an exhibition sourced from New Zealand.
It is now in its fifth year of putting on an annual Alternative Wedding and Valentine Show for pure romantics and organises two other major exhibitions or jewellery projects each year, which have been supported by the Arts Council and the Crafts Council. One of those funded projects was an exchange project between the gallery and Barcelona's most prestigious contemporary jewellery gallery - Hipotesi. The project back in 2002 brought the work of six Catalan jewellers to Salts and in turn six UK jewellers travelled to Spain to exhibit their own work.
One of the other highlights from the past decade, said Miss Libbert, was the chance to return to her maternal homeland, the Czech Republic, two years ago to explore the work of 13 designers. She returned with work for an exhibition called Czech It Out.
"I still get as excited about jewellery as I did ten years ago. As long as people are still producing creatively and getting excited about it themselves, I will keep going," she said.
by Kathie Griffiths,
T&A reporter

Kath Libbert Jewellery Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford BD18 3LA. Tel/Fax 01274 599790. For directions see About Us
Open Monday - Friday 10am - 5.30pm. Weekends 10am - 6pm. Email:info@kathlibbertjewellery.co.uk