North-east woman heads to Shetland after winning prestigious craftmanship scholarship

Megan Falconer

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AN Aberdeen woman has won a scholarship worth more than £8,000 to complete a 16-week training programme in Shetland with one of the UK’s leading silversmiths.

Megan Falconer has 14 months in which to complete the programme under the mentorship of award-winning master silversmith, Rod Kelly, as part of a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) scholarship.

He will spend his time teaching Ms Falconer, 27, a range of traditional silversmithing skills.

Megan is the resident silversmith at ‘Vanilla Ink – The Smiddy’ in Banff, where she teaches others about silversmithing and jewellery making.

On completing the QEST scholarship, she plans to introduce additional courses at The Smiddy, including those directly targeted at graduates and emerging talent.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) funds the education of talented and aspiring craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or one-to-one training with master craftspeople.

Megan said: “Rod Kelly is one of the country’s most respected silversmiths and I am looking forward to spending time with him learning about all aspects of my craft.

“Scotland has always had a fantastic reputation when it comes to traditional craftmanship, and I’m keen to play a part in ensuring that continues to be the case for generations to come.

“The QEST scholarships are highly sought after, and so it is a real honor to have been given this opportunity to continue to develop and learn about something I’m so passionate about. Especially as advanced silversmithing techniques are taught in limited places today.

“I’m also very grateful to the team at Vanilla Ink for being so supportive of my wish to continue learning, and for allowing me the time off I need to go to Shetland. I just can’t wait to get started now!”.




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