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EXCHANGE: Francisca Onumah & Helena Russell in conversation with Emma Paragreen



Saturday, 19 February 2022

Francisca Onumah & Helena Russell discuss silversmithing traditions in Sheffield and their collaborative commission Invaluable Tool with Industry and Metalwork Curator for Sheffield Museums and the Curator, Librarian and Archivist for the Sheffield Assay Office, Emma Paragreen.   

Working in collaboration using a box of old silversmithing tools as a starting point, Francisca Onumah & Helena Russell’s Invaluable Tool explores the history and legacy of Sheffield’s silversmithing industry, and the makers who have been involved in it. Through conversations with Sheffield-based silversmiths the artists reflect on the past, present and future of the industry and the role of the individual maker within this.  


The conversation will last for up to an hour, followed by the chance to ask questions. 

There is limited capacity at this event, so we ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to attend. We will run a waiting list for tickets if they sell out and will be in touch if tickets become available in the run-up to the event.  

This event will be recorded and made available online after the event, subject to speakers approval.  

This event is free to attend, book now. 

Visitor Guidance  

Jerwood Arts is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all our visitors and staff. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have put the following guidelines in place for this event: 

We encourage all visitors to take a COVID-19 lateral flow test before visiting our galleries at Jerwood Space and only to attend if it is negative. 

We request that visitors wear masks inside the building for this event unless they are exempt. 

We ask you to please be considerate of one another’s space during the event. 

The space will be well ventilated, our staff members will be wearing personal protective equipment and there will be hand sanitiser available on arrival. 

Please do not attend if you or anyone you live with is feeling unwell or displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 even if you receive a negative lateral flow test result. 


We want to make sure that our events programme is welcoming and accessible.  

Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we can support you to attend and enjoy this event or if you have any feedback on the accessibility of our work.  

You can contact us via email at or telephone +44(0)7944 903 991. Learn more about the access support available, here. 

About the speakers  

Francisca Onumah is a Ghanaian born silversmith who graduated with an MA in Jewellery and Silversmithing from Birmingham School of Jewellery in 2015. She was selected for the two-year Starter Studio Programme for jewellers and silversmiths at Yorkshire Artspace in Sheffield (2017-19), where she was awarded the ‘Precious Little Gems’ commission from the Sheffield Assay Office (SAO). The commission was exhibited in the Millennium Galleries at Museums Sheffield (2019) and is now part of the SAO silver collection. An alumnae of the Crafts Council’s 2020 Hothouse programme, Onumah’s work was featured in Maker’s Eye: Stories of Craft, Crafts Council Gallery, London, UK (2021) and Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey, UK (2021). In 2022 her work is on display as part of We Gather, Crafts Council Gallery, London, UK; Harewood House Craft Biennial, Leeds, UK; and she will complete a window display for Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool, UK.

Helena Russell graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA Hons in Jewellery and Metalwork and an MA in Design. She is currently based in Persistence Works, Yorkshire Artspace, where she has recently come to the end of her time in the Starter Studio, a programme for early-career silversmiths and jewellers. Here she has been developing her practice, creating new works which she has taken to exhibitions and craft fairs including Goldsmiths Fair, London, UK (2019, 2020, 2021) and New Designers, London, UK (2016, 2018, 2019). In 2016 she received the Contemporary British Silversmiths Design in Silver Award.

Emma Paragreen is Industry and Metalwork Curator for Sheffield Museums and the Curator, Librarian and Archivist for the Sheffield Assay Office, she is the editor of the Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks and gives regular lectures, talks on the work of assay offices’, hallmarking and the law. Outside of work Emma is a Committee member of the Silver Society, an ambassador for the promotion of the study of silver. Emma holds a Professional Jewellers’ Diploma from the National Association of Jewellers, is a Director of the Association of Contemporary Jewellers and a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company.

This event is free to attend, book now. 

Venue ( Address ): 

171 Union Street, 
SE1 0LN 

Jerwood Arts , London

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Jerwood Staging Series 2022: Samiir Saunders - Mind Control Victims Anonymous
Jerwood Staging Series 2022: Ashanti Harris - You are stood on a harbour looking out into the dark water...
Jerwood Staging Series 2022: Rieko Whitfield - Enter Regenesis


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