Diana Porter

'I wanted to be an actor. I trained as a teacher, had two children, was a single parent, did lots of amateur acting, found feminism, worked for twenty odd years as an arts administrator during which time I did fascinating jobs such as running theatre companies both in London & in Bristol, setting up a small scale theatre and community arts centre in Bristol, running Birmingham Women's Festival. I campaigned for more money for the arts, for equality of opportunities for women, disabled people and ethnic minorities; I demonstrated against nuclear armaments. 

And then in 1990 I went to the University of Central England to do a 3 year full time degree course in Jewellery and Silversmithing. 

I loved the way that working with metal centred and concentrated my mind; I learnt about design and form and my teachers pushed me to develop my design ideas which I now thank them for; I loved the History of Art part of the course and became passionate about investigating the history of the involvement by women in the arts and crafts. This was 3 years to take stock and to create - it was a gift and the jewellery is an outcome of that. 

On leaving college in 1993, I immediately started my own business making jewellery in my front room. In 1999 I was awarded UK Jewellery Designer of the Year! '

I’m passionate about keeping the manufacture of my jewellery in the UK and now have the shop of my dreams with workshops behind it, in my beloved hometown of Bristol. My current concerns centre around investigating the move towards ethical trading. Since visiting artisanal mines in Bolivia and seeing first-hand the conditions for the miners and the environment, the company became accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation. All our gold pieces of jewellery are now made in Fairtrade Gold as standard, something I am incredibly proud of.

I still cannot believe how lucky I have been. The collections are in galleries and shops all over the country. I get to choose beautiful work to exhibit in the shop from other designers and I meet incredible people who come from miles around to consult about bespoke designs.

Diana Porter has received the seal of approval from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and has been invited to join Who's Who in Gold and Silver the company's prestigious directory of the leading jewellers, silversmiths and art medallists working in the UK. 

www.whoswhoingoldandsilver.com