This was the first project on the hidden nature of work. At the time the photographs were taken the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter was undergoing redevelopment redefining it as a tourist attraction. This meant that the workshops were under threat from increased rents and the change from making jewellery to selling it.
Many of the workshops and factories had not changed for decades and this would be last chance to document the buildings, people and their work. The photographs were taken in 1982-83 as part of an MA project at Birmingham Polytechnic. The resulting exhibition was toured by the Ikon gallery.
Please note: all images are the copyright of Colin Shaw and must not be reproduced, copied or published in any medium without written consent. Prints for the original negatives are available, please enquire here.