Goldsmiths Fair 2012 [Week Two]

The end of Septmeber/beginning of October is marked indelibly in the industry calendar as ‘Goldsmiths Fair‘. Now in it’s 30th year the two week event sees some of the nations finest makers of jewellery and silverware gather in London to present new work to visitors in the splendid surroundings of Goldsmiths Hall.

Here’s who I loved this year:

Petya Kapralova :

maker of  sculptural pieces, tableware and desk accessories Kapralova is a new graduate with an eye for balance and beautiful simplicity. Some of her most striking pieces, made from silver and silver inlaid iron (I have no idea how you’d even start to inlay silver in iron, but hats off to her as she makes it sound effortless) play with your expectations and amuse themselves with their inlaid silver ‘reflections’.

Alex Ramsey:

I’ve admired Ramsey’s work for years but haven’t seen much of it in person before. This year, fresh from a trip to Iceland, she was presenting some new pieces that use her trademark saw pierced technique but employ smatterings of enamel too, creating some wonderful textures and sprays of colour over her silverware.

Sarah Pulvertaft:

Forms jewellery from many tiny components, aiming to capture the complexity of nature in her work. In delicate mixes of silver and gold the many tiny forms build up into a larger whole with a subtle, shimmering motion to them which does indeed make them feel like they have a life of their own.

Goldsmiths Fair 2011

Goldsmiths Fair 2011

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 …