Contemporary British Silversmiths will be participating, for the first time, at Art In Action 2012, in Waterperry, Oxfordshire. Members will be exhibiting and demonstrating in a dedicated marquee and will be joined by London Assay Office which will be promoting the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee hallmark and undertaking an ‘Antiques Roadshow’ style evaluation for the public.
Contemporary British Silversmiths is delighted to announce it has been invited by the Victoria and Albert Museum to create a display to complement its much anticipated major exhibition, British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age (http://www NULL.vam NULL.ac NULL.uk/whatson/event/1656/british-design-1948-2012-2782/). Part of the V&A’s British Design Season, this display represents the state of the art in contemporary silverware. Fifty-two established and up-and-coming silversmiths from around the UK have created unique work on the theme of Fit for Purpose: a practical and conceptual exploration of silver. The exhibition is housed within the Museum’s Silver Galleries and is supported by the Goldsmiths’ Company.
V&A 30th March – 16th September 2012
Images from right to left: Kevin Grey, Olivia Lowe, Peter Musson. Photographer: Clarissa Bruce.
In addition, all work bears the new Diamond Jubilee commemorative hallmark which will be struck only during 2012, alongside the 2012 UK hallmark, making these objects historically significant and collectable. The exhibition takes an imaginative look at the idea of ‘Fit for Purpose’. Each objects’ function is explored through the medium of silver, both practical and conceptual, with each piece described by its purpose. The display includes work by some of the best practising British silversmiths today. Read more…
The Goldsmiths’ Company has generously offered a room for our AGM, to be held on Friday 1 July. By a stroke of luck attending will provide a great opportunity to see ‘Mindful of Silver’ on show until 16 July. Hector Millar invited Julie Chamberlain to curate the exhibition which shows ‘the journey of a silver vessel’. Arrive early and enjoy this wonderful exhibition, which includes work by several of our members. Read more…
Twenty members managed to clear their diaries to attend an away day in April in the picturesque area of Ironbridge: Read more…
by Rebecca de Quin
On 21st September 2010 the V&A threw open the doors of the Sackler Centre art room to the public, to view silversmiths in action. The drop-in event, entitled ‘Whizz, Bang!’ was one of the many events hosted by the V&A for the London Design Festival.
Contemporary British Silversmiths chairman Mary Ann Simmons and Christopher English, director of the Silver Trust (pictured) worked in Collaboration with the V&A to install a collection of silver work representing both organisations in showcases in the Sackler Centre. The demonstration day was conceived as a complementary event and was subsequently organised and run by Contemporary British Silversmith members Pete Musson, Max Warren and Rebecca de Quinn. The aim was to expand public understanding of silversmithing practice, and in so doing, add to the experience of viewing the fabulous collections of Contemporary British Silversmiths work and that from the Silver Trust’s Downing Street Collection. Tools and equipment were generously lent by Prof. Hans Stofer from the department of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art, a stone’s throw away from the V&A, and transported by us from the forth floor of the college to Brompton Road. This was no mean feat as the kit included three tree trunks, bench tops, gas bottles and several extremely heavy stakes. Bullion was supplied by Argex, who then took it back as scrap after the event.
We set up three stations in the art room to demonstrate raising a bowl, forging a spoon and scoring a box, and ran a loop of the images from the Contemporary British Silversmiths website on a large plasma screen. During the day we received approximately one hundred and fifty visitors, many of whom had a go at raising, forging or both. The interest was terrific and we were able to make the whole experience really meaningful for our audience by referring to the pieces on display in relation to the practical process on view. It was great to hear positive comments from folks who had struck some hammer blows and were then shown a raised or forged piece in the showcases.
We all agreed it was a really worthwhile event and that Contemporary British Silversmiths could consider doing this again perhaps at another venue to coincide with a display of work. It really does bring the silver alive for people when they see how it’s done and in terms of marketing, anything that showcases skill and craftsmanship is a very good thing.
Everyday in the workshop silversmiths sit surrounded by the tools of their trade. Each tool is particular to its user, familiar in its weight and feel, some tools do a specific job some are multi functional, but which one does the silversmith reach for time and again and would dare to call it a favourite?
In August 2010 Contemporary British Silversmiths member Shona Marsh was approached by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to make a replica of a damaged cross found in the Staffordshire Hoard (http://www NULL.staffordshirehoard NULL.org NULL.uk/) in 2009. The objects in this Anglo Saxon hoard date from 700AD and its links to an early Christian society drew the personal attention of the Pope. Such was his interest that it was decided to present the replica cross as a gift to the Pope from the city of Birmingham during his tour of the UK.
SIDE x SIDE: EDGE > EDGE at the Royal Cornwall Museum (http://www NULL.royalcornwallmuseum NULL.org NULL.uk/) – 18 September – 6 November 2010
Our exciting, groundbreaking exhibition of silverware is to be staged at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro – its first UK venue.
“We feel extremely privileged to be providing the first UK venue for SIDE x SIDE: EDGE > EDGE,” said Hilary Bracegirdle, Director of the Royal Cornwall Museum. “It is an exceptional collection of modern silverware that attracted large numbers of visitors when it was shown in Finland. We expect similar levels of interest here.”
It will demonstrate how a silversmith hammers and forges a sheet or bar of silver into a familiar object. Read more…
A rare opportunity to see silver pieces from the Silver Trust’s Downing Street collection (http://www NULL.silvertrust NULL.co NULL.uk/col_htm/index NULL.html) regularly used at state functions alongside selected works by members of Contemporary British Silversmiths. This exhibition showcases some of the finest pieces in contemporary silver which capture the artistry, variety and skill of current silversmithing practice and is being run as part of the London Design Festival (http://www NULL.londondesignfestival NULL.com/).
Where: Victoria and Albert Museum (http://www NULL.vam NULL.ac NULL.uk/) Sackler Centre, Exhibition Road entrance.
When: 19-26 September 2010, 10 – 17.45 daily.
Contemporary British Silversmiths would like to thank Jane Carr (who recently curated “Handmade: A British Craft Exhibition (http://www NULL.fortnumandmason NULL.com/events/britishhandmade NULL.aspx)” at Fortnum and Mason) for helping us select pieces for the show.
(http://www NULL.londondesignfestival NULL.com/)