I recently spent the weekend at Desire in London surrounded by a wonderful collection of jewellery and silverware from some of the finest makers in the country. In the heart of Kensington the event has just moved into, hopefully, a new permanent home where it can grow and build up quite a following.
Besides the jewellery on show it was encouraging and inspiring to see so much silverware represented – British Silverweek brought a considerable amount of new talent with it to sit alongside more established makers like Andrew MacGowan and Esther Lord.
Showed a sumptuous little selection of her neat, smoothly curving vessels, off set by their jagged tops and beautifully tactile in form.
Brought this little vessel along – just look at the beautiful, intricate detailing on the lid:
it makes what could be quite a heavy piece feel delicate – and makes a lovely feature of the hinge.
and I had a quick chat with Kathrine Hinton who makes use of some wonderful new technologies (computer modelling, digital hammer blows and some very fine rapid prototyping) to produce tiny, detailed vessels and jewellery with surfaces that you just want to hold and explore:
I made full use of my rail card on Friday and ventured down to Desire, a Jewellery and Silver Fair held annually in the Bank of England Sports Club in Richmond. I’ve never visited one of these shows before but the exhibitor list is prestigious so I was pretty sure that I’d be in for treat.
Another plus for going was to scope out the venue and see if I could apply to exhibit in the future. I’ve done the odd fair in the past where I’ve been disappointed on arrival with the venue, the quality of work or something else and have learned the lesson. So, this year I’m committed to visiting shows that I’m interested in – or at least bending the ear of other jewellers I know who attend them.
Anyway, there were no anxieties about this one. It was lovely – from the complimentary bus to the venue:
(a helpful treat for the geographically challenged among us, thank you Desire)
to the venue itself.
A lot of shows of this profile feature a mixture of craft disciplines so in a way it was nice to just be surrounded by jewellery and silver makers. It must be how normal women feel when they stumble into Jimmy Choo… I had a blast looking at the extraordinary variety of work on show from people like Sarah Hutchinson:
Her work is just gorgeous. It looks incredibly intricate on first glance but is, in fact, deceptively simple. She’s all caught up in experimenting with saw piercing and the result is floral and mesmerising. My favourites are the ones just brushed with a little blush of gold at the edges, they’re like sunflowers just caught in opening.
Alongside these was the stunning work of Michael Berger:
He’s an eye catcher at any show he attends with his stunning and slightly unreal Kinetik Collection. This sense of unreality is helped along by the maker himself – he seems to make a habit of standing in his booth, looking nonchalant, as his little sculptural creations appear to flaunt the laws of gravity.
The way these things are put together is extraordinary (I’m still not quite sure that I understand how it all works) but do click the image which links to his website – there’s a subtitled video there that begins to explain things.
And I very much liked Hannah Souter’s work too. I haven’t seen it before, it’s so neat and lovely.
It reminds me a little of some of my own work, which might be why I identify with it so, but I wouldn’t say no to owning a pair of these beauties.
Sadly, the fair closed today, but there’s another in Winchester in November which will be well worth a visit too.