Desborough goldsmith looking for artists to complement his own creative business

Ann, Mark and Ellen outside the shop in Desborough
Ann, Mark and Ellen outside the shop in Desborough

A goldsmith is looking to give something back to the community by renovating part of his premises and creating space for artists.

Mark Churcher started his goldsmith business in King Street, Desborough, before moving to Station Road in the town.

Ellen and Mark at work

Ellen and Mark at work

The bell never seems to stop ringing at the current premises, with regular and new customers popping in to see if Mark can repair their jewellery or he can design and make something special for a loved one.

Mark and wife Ann took on Ellen Elliott two years ago after she approached them to see if they would consider offering an apprenticeship to her.

Since joining them, Ellen has been learning the trade from Mark while completing a Level 3 City and Guilds diploma.

With business doing so well, Mark and Ann are now renovating the two storeys above the shop to create three units for artists to rent out.

They are also hoping to get someone to help Ann in the shop so Mark and Ellen can concentrate on repairing, designing and making jewellery, including the possibility of designing and making their own range.

Mark said: “Someone gave me a break down in King Street with very reasonable rent and it’s the same values here.”

He said he enjoys being able to pass on his knowledge of the traditional trade to Ellen, and added: “Taking on Ellen was a big step for us and that’s working really well.

“It’s nice to pass something on, to have somebody who wants to learn the business and we can nurture.

“But the reality is we are so busy.”

Ellen said: “I have been here for coming up to two-and-a-half years.

“I was very lucky, it was the right time, right place for me.”

The team is hoping to grow even more by attracting artists who share their passion for creativity and to put something back into the community which the shop has been part of for many years.

Speaking about the renovation work, Mark said: “There will be three units with a rest area and two toilets.

“The space has got a nice feel to it, artists like to have a feel for a place.

“Hopefully people will be interested and they will come because it is more of a community feel.

“Ellen wants a potter.”

Mark, who is a member of the town centre partnership in Desborough, is hoping the new space for artists will be another welcome addition to the town and bring something new, just like other ventures such as the Ritz have done for the town.

Ann said: “We would like to open around May time but we are encouraging people to come and take a look now and let us know if they are interested.”

Anyone who is interested in renting out one of the three spaces at the shop can send an email to ann.churcher@outlook.com.