Toby Cotterill


I create unique, articulated jewellery inspired by the natural world and the process of making. Growing up on a farm near the coast in West Wales I spent my childhood playing outside with my brothers, exploring rock pools, and making things. Most of my ideas stem from this early immersion in nature.

I completed an Arts Foundation course at Carmarthen College of Art, I studied Design Crafts at Staffordshire University, where I specialised in fine metal, growing to love the scale and personal connection of jewellery making. After graduation I continued to make and develop my skills, but worked as a support worker in care for 14 years, before being inextricably drawn back to making.

I use traditional silversmithing techniques, forging sheet silver over steel stakes and into wooden formers using hammers and punches. Three-dimensional forms are articulated, fused, and finished with enamels, oxides or gold to create lively, humorous pieces of wearable sculpture.

My work has been exhibited across the UK and abroad, including the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London and Velvet da Vinci Gallery in San Francisco. I was selected by the Crafts Council for the Hothouse program in 2016 and continue to represent them through workshops and as Talent Development Ambassador. More recently I’m delighted to have been selected to join Design-Nation, a collective of ‘highly skilled designer-makers whose works demonstrate authentic, exceptional craftsmanship and design ability’.

The Scarab Beetle brooch pictured is a recent piece and has been selected by the Association of Contemporary Jewellery for a touring exhibition, ‘Meanings and Messages’, which will be seen at numerous venues across the UK until 2023.

This month I’ve been doing some research at Blackburn Museum to document and sketch their amazing beetle collection. This research, which includes going behind-the-scenes to examine rare specimens, will inspire a new collection of work this year.

Visit Toby’s page for contact details and links.

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