Avril Manderson

From wannabe barrister to silversmith...how I fed my creative monster!

I once heard that creativity is like a creative monster...you need to feed it or it starts to get really mad!

As a child I loved anything creative...from drawing, playing with clay to making jewellery from tinfoil.  I would spend hours happily creating, totally absorbed in the piece of art I was bringing to life.

But then something happened...Education.  At school as a capable academic pupil I was gently guided away from the arts and towards other subjects.  When it came to choosing GCSE subjects teachers made it clear in subtle, and not-so-subtle ways, that I shouldn't choose art in favour of other more 'worthy' subjects.

So I studied hard, eventually setting my sights on a career as a barrister and signing up for a law degree.  But something didn't feel right.  That little monster started growling and I had a growing frustration with my choice of course.  It seemed stifling and I didn't feel my creativity had any use.  I finished the degree and chose to study a MSc in Communications, Advertising & Public Relations.  I felt much more at home on this course and my creative talents finally had an outlet.

When working I took a City & Guilds in Silversmithing and everything clicked into place...the monster was finally content!

After establishing two other businesses (Fresh Fleeces & AM Jewellery), selling handmade jewellery worldwide, I have finally turned my attention to one of the great loves of my life, Scottish pipe bands.

I have a long-standing interest in pipe bands and started learning the bagpipes with Ballykeel Blackwatch Pipe Band, back in 1990.  I was part of Ballynahinch's World Champion Grade 3 band in 1993. 

Now at the age of 43 I can finally say I am truly happy in my job.  It's the perfect balance of business and creativity.  The creative monster is well fed and purring away!

Previous article Royal Stewart Tartan Jewellery
Next article Bagpipes Jewellery

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields