Argyllshire artist set to sparkle with new jewellery collection

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Argyll and bute - birdhouse studio - val oregan

A husband and wife duo have turned an old coach house into a studio for their art business with plans to offer workshops and artist residencies in the future.

Val O’Regan, who studied Painting, Ceramics and Sculpture at art school in Cork, moved to Innellan with her husband Scott O’Regan McGowan in 2007 and after completing the renovations launched The Birdhouse Studio.

With support from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute, The Birdhouse Studio currently focuses on Val’s handmade jewellery which is stocked in galleries and craft shops in the region.

Val’s jewellery is inspired by her love of natural forms, found objects, vintage design and patterns, with her new collection of porcelain and silver pieces influenced by the tiny microscopic details of wild flowers that grow locally.

She said: “I have always made jewellery for friends and family and after taking part in several successful craft fairs over the years I felt it was the right time to develop my creative passion into a sustainable business venture. The response and support has been amazing with my jewellery generating a lot of interest from people locally.

“Business Gateway have been very supportive, giving me practical and professional advice on marketing and digital media as well as information on the many free courses specific to the development of my business.”

Val, who is also a visual art tutor with the organisation Project Ability and Scott who specialises in sculpture and is a tutor at Glasgow School of Art, have participated in Cowal Open Studios which encourages people to visit the studio to take a look at their work and the inspiration behind it.

They plan on developing an online presence for The Birdhouse Studio and to continue to promote Val's jewellery both locally and nationwide.

Val added: “I feel very fortunate to be living in such a wonderful place and I really enjoy what I do. Since the arrival of our two young children my time for project work had been limited. By ensuring I work for a few hours each day in the studio, in-between school runs and after school activities, I’ve recently been able to concentrate more on my jewellery making. Going forward we want to make The Birdhouse Studio a real hub for creatives of all different mediums to come together and learn and support one another.”

Barbara Halliday of Business Gateway said: “Val has benefitted from one-to-one advice on marketing strategy and planning and has accessed specialist support via the DigitalBoost programme. The scheme, funded by Digital Scotland, has allowed Val to gain expert help on using social media and developing a website.”

Find out how Business Gateway Argyll and Bute can help your business by visiting their local page or calling 01546 808 363.

Outwith this area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.

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