I find it hard to describe Goldsmiths Fair to my non-silversmithing friends. The closest I’ve come so far is saying that it’s like New York Fashion Week. There are hot new designers, old favourites stunning you with their new collections, new heights of genius and always some starring talent that you somehow missed on a previous visit who’s ready and waiting to astound you now.
I suppose, in reality it’s just a fair, like any other, but somehow it manages to eclipse all those others and shine as the countries finest annual gathering of silver and jewellery talent.
I love it. The thought of aspiring to it terrifies me, but I love it all the same.
It inspires me and makes me realise again just how passionate I am about this industry.
Some of the things I saw which made an impression on me this year are:
Samantha Moore makes small silverware, she’s a lovely person and was happy to spend some time showing me her wonderful little tea infusers. The two halves of these snick together so easily, look so neat and are so beautifully funstional that I was awed.
I first saw William Lee‘s work at Collect a couple of years ago, the photographs of it totally don’t do it justice. All those little stripes on the surface are tiny verticle rows of hammer marks and vase itself is almost the size of a beachball. You know, one of those giant stripey ones you had as a kid?
Looking into it is marvellous, it’s hard to image how the thing was raised – just turning the weight alone must be a challenge, but clearly one that’s worth it.
Then, way down on the other end of the scale, is Vicki Amberley Smith. Her work is exquiste, all precise detail and clever use of materials. All her work is wearable, which is an unusual touch in something inspired by something so three dimensional.
So that was Week One at the Fair. I can’t make next week, sadly, which means I’ll miss seeing work like this:
but then there’s always next year …