By Phil Jordan
Phil Jordan: a short course with Ndidi Ekubia
Contemporary British Silversmith Award
I recently completed a short 3-day course with Ndidi Ekubia at her workshop in Cockpit Arts, Deptford. The course was paid for by the award from the Contemporary British Silversmiths that I won at New Designers 2008. This money also allowed me to receive some silver with which to work whilst on the course.
My aim for the course was to learn more about how to work with silver, mainly through the techniques of hammering and chasing. I also wanted to see how another silversmith designed and worked in a workshop environment.
Whilst working with Ndidi I learnt a lot about how silver can be formed with hammers. I also re-learnt techniques and improved how I currently work. For example my raising has improved drastically since my course with Ndidi. The course has also led to me being trialled as an outworker, doing Ndidi’s early raising work. Hopefully, this will continue and allow me to learn much more from working alongside a professional silversmith. I also learnt more about the designing process that is necessary to produce high quality work – this was an added extra that I didn’t expect to learn whilst on such a short course.
The money from the award allowed me to purchase three pieces of silver from which to produce work. Whilst on the course I completed one piece, part-finished another and had a third to continue when back in my own workshop. These three pieces were all intended as small bowls and have continued that way. I have further developed the part-finished piece and have also brought the third piece up to a similar level. I hope to have both of these pieces finished very soon as I intend to display them in upcoming exhibitions.
As mentioned earlier I am working part-time for Ndidi and hope to learn as much from this experience as possible. When not working for Ndidi, I am working full-time in my own, rented workshop, developing and making my own pieces. I am applying to Goldsmiths’ Fair this year and, having been given a bursary of silver from Cookson Precious Metals and a sponsorship, I will be exhibiting at British Silver Week in June.
- Three pieces of silver for course with Ndidi
- Bowl 1 – The design on this bowl is chased, so it is currently set into pitch to allow me to work the silver more easily.
- Bowl 2 – before texture/pattern is added.
- Bowl 3 – Finished.
- Bowl 3 – From above.