Founding director of Vanilla Ink, Kate Clifford set up the programme through her own frustration of knowing how to make jewellery but no idea how to become a jeweller. Acknowledging her lack of skills in the area of business she developed the programme through the Starter for 6 programme with the Cultural Enterprise Office in 2009. Kate was awarded funding through the Princes Trust and set up her first workshop in 2012 in Dundee.
16 jewellers passed through the workshop and took part on the inaugural Vanilla Ink programme. They had access to a 24 hour workshop, 1 year of monthly professional development classes with industry experts and one-to-one mentoring with successful designers for a year.
Vanilla Ink closed its doors in Dundee in January 2015 and travelled to Glasgow, establishing a brand new workshop in MAKLab Charing Cross. The Vanilla Ink programme returned, running from its Glasgow studio. In 2016 we altered the programme and ran it for 6 months instead of 1 year. We welcomed 7 jewellers who submerged themselves in the programme.
In the spring of 2017, Vanilla Ink was once again on the move. Expanding again, Founding Director Kate joined forces with Master Goldsmith Scott McIntyre to open The Vanilla Ink Jewellery School. With the mission of educating, inspiring and empowering the trade at both Kate and Scott's core.
Below are the Inkers that have taken part in the programme since we began, click on their profiles to read more about them.
The Vanilla Ink programme will run again in February 2018 and applications are now open. Please download the guidelines and apply from there. Deadline is midnight 7th of January 2018.