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.
by Julie Chamberlain
Silver objects are appreciated for the ‘making’ time and their material costs, but the developmental work is less understood. Mindful of Silver gives value to the thought that lies behind a finished piece, what takes place between the initial thought or concept and the stage at which all decisions have been made.
This multifaceted journey uses experiential knowledge, tacit understanding and intuition, all of which are difficult to quantify or document. Evidence of these processes, rarely seen by the viewer of the final object, is exhibited here alongside the finished work to increase awareness and appreciation.
Using the notion of vessel as a shared starting point each maker was asked to keep a ‘metaphorical box’ into which they put anything and everything that contributed to the development of their piece. An honest recording of the process from the very beginning was required and makers asked to resist the understandable urge to be selective, fill the ‘box’ retrospectively or enhance drawings or models.
Mindful of Silver allows a rare insight into the thought processes of a group of makers who represent a wide spectrum of current contemporary silver practice embodying differing philosophies and approaches to the subject. From those who apply design aesthetics to objects of utility to others whose work offers provocative stimulation. The diversity of finished pieces may inspire, challenge or even annoy, but each visitor will find something to engage with and experience a new respect for the imaginative and skilful understanding each practitioner has for his or her subject and material.