One of Scotland’s oldest organisations has named a former jeweller as the new director to continue its work to promote ethical gold and silversmithing.
Ebba Goring has taken over from Mary Michel at the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh, which has championed jewellers and silversmiths, and protected consumer rights since the 15th century.
It continues to promote silversmithing and jewellery across Scotland and trades as the Edinburgh Assay office – where precious metals have been tested and hallmarked since 1457.
Under Michel’s leadership, the Incorporation became known for its drive to make Scotland a world-leader in ethical gold and silversmithing. She also founded Elements, Scotland’s festival of gold, silver and jewellery, which is run with Lyon & Turnbull fine art auctioneers.
Goring was previously the Incorporation’s programmes manager and delivered November’s fifth annual Elements festival and led the organisation’s Ethical Making Programme and educational projects.
Goring said: “The work Mary has done here is ground-breaking, inspiring and will have a lasting legacy. I am grateful for Mary, Scott and the Wardens’ encouragement since I started working here and I am delighted to be appointed as Director.
“I find it hugely rewarding working at the Incorporation, where we can create opportunities for makers and promote their work at all points in their careers. Having been a jeweller myself I know the difference the right kind of support can make.
“The World Gold Council Consumer Research Report published last month, highlights the next generation of gold buyers will quite rightly want to know more about the ethical credentials of the industry.
“Here at the Incorporation, and through the work of Edinburgh Assay Office, we have been assuring quality of metals and establishing trust for hundreds of years.
“More recently Scott Walter, Assay Master an CEO of EAO has developed the chain of custody for Scotgold. I look forward to collaborating with EAO more closely to build on an area where we have both independently invested in recent years.
“It is imperative that we continue to push forward with our Ethical Making Programme. Already we are seeing so many graduating students, exhibitors at Elements and many other makers in Scotland embracing more ethical practices in their businesses.
“I am keen for our graduates and makers in Scotland to be prepared, knowledgeable and responsible for the future of our industry. I have so much admiration and respect for the incredible work being designed and made in our country and will do all I can to fulfil our mission to stimulate and promote excellence in jewellery and silversmithing.”
Before joining the Incorporation Ebba was a self-employed jeweller, working in recycled precious metals and was a member of the Fairtrade Goldsmith Scheme. She was born in Edinburgh, raised in Fife and completed a degree in Jewellery and Metal design degree at Duncan of Jordanstone College or Art and Design in Dundee.
Her collections were showcased throughout the UK and internationally, and her bespoke fine jewellery pieces were purchased by clients around the world.
Michel has been with the Incorporation since 2002 and became Director in 2012.
She is leaving to continue her work with Ostrero, which she co-founded in 2016 to grow the Circular Economy in Scotland. The Circular Economy offers a positive framework through which to address the Climate Emergency and is a concept championed by the Scottish Government. Ostrero runs design and making workshops for schools, universities and businesses which give practical ideas and solutions for designing waste out of economic production.
Michel said: “It’s been wonderful working with so many talented makers during my time with the Incorporation and seeing the shift towards a more responsible sector.
“Scotland’s designers and craftspeople have a fundamental role in opening up the conversation about how we can all have a more positive impact on the world. Ostrero’s workshops bring creative learning and easily implementable solutions together to encourage the growth of the Circular Economy.”