Fit for Purpose – Contemporary British Silversmiths at the V&A

When I was in London for Jewellery Week I made some time to sneak down to one of my favourite parts of the city – the Victoria and Albert Museum. Over the summer it’s hosting a show for the Contemporary British Silversmith‘s Society entitled ‘Fit for Purpose‘.

At the back of the silver galleries is a delicious little case filled with contemporary silverware:

The show has an interesting concept given that, in the last century or so, the market for silver has changed so radically and the ‘purpose’ for which most silverware is now made has shifted. Gone are the days of large firms making household, utilitarian silverware and the market is now much more dominated by studio makers exploring the craft for private clients and small retailers.

The work on display is varied, from that clearly designed for a more traditional purpose – like Louise Mary‘s salad servers (utilitarian, but no less elegant for being so) to the intentionally conceptual pieces of Rajesh Gogna.

There’s also a beautiful piece of Kevin Grey‘s laser welded work, a stunning set of angular beakers from Mary Ann Simmons and a wonderful sculptural tray from Alex Ramsey, which bears her distinctive and delicate cut patterning spread across a form I’ve not seen before.

For a small case it’s a wonderful collection of work that’s well worth a visit – the show continues in the V&A silver galleries until the 16th of September 2012.

Commissions: Stacking Rings

A little commission for a set of stacking rings went through the workshop last week  (they’re a larger sizer of a design that the customer liked on my stand at a show)

On the peg, before polishing:

Ready to go – the set consists of 2x plain and 2x decorated stacking, reticulated silver rings:

Key Hill’s new gates …

My workshop windows look out over Key Hill cemetery and it’s a hidden part of the Jewellery Quarter that I’m really rather fond of.

When  I moved into the area many years ago the sandstone gates were in seriously bad repair but, over the past few years a lot of restoration (mainly funded by the fine efforts of FKWC) has gone on throughout the Quarters two Victorian cemeteries. A week or so ago the scaffolding came down from the Key Hill gate posts on Key Hill Drive after what looks like a final round of restoration.

And they’re pretty darn stunning once again:

Worcestershire Arts Trail 2012

The Grove

I went out on the Worcestershire Arts Trail on Friday – to install a little show of mine at Blue Ginger – but also to explore some of the venues:

… the Trail venues are open until the end of Bank Holiday Monday, grab a map here.