Find something fabulous at Goldsmiths’ gleaming fair, says Corinne Julius Quick, silver
INTERIOR design increasingly picks up trends from the world of fashion and this year silver has hopped from the catwalk to add gleaming highlights to our homes. London has some of the world’s best silversmiths and Britain is considered a global leader in contemporary silversmithing. The annual Goldsmiths’ Fair is one of the best places to see new work, meet the makers and buy.
Modern silverwork sits easily in contemporary interiors and today’s silversmiths often pursue an architectural aesthetic, experimenting with interesting textural surfaces and colourings. This year there are three striking themes at the fair: colour, sculptural form and inspiration from nature. One of the most innovative silversmiths is Adi Toch, whose unusual works are soft and rounded. Her new wine pourers have the cosiness of a duck’s nest. She increases the attraction by patinating her work — colouring the surface to achieve glorious blues and greens tinged with browns and golds. It’s a technique also employed by Rebecca de Quin, whose architectural pieces, composed of several vessels, incorporate wonderful blue-green surfaces reflected in highly polished silver surfaces.
Juliette Bigley also explores patination in her highly sculptural forms. “Patination is always different. It’s another string to your bow in the palette of expression,” she says. She often uses non-precious metals with silver to create intriguing vessels.
Ane Christensen makes simple, heavy and calm bowl forms “interrupted” by visually complex, open and delicate structures that create a tension at the meeting point. “I enjoy working in a variety of metals, combining them in an exploration of colour and texture,” she explains. Angela Cork is more concerned with functionality in her meticulously made, elegant boxes. The lids are decorated with sensual ripple forms.
Patrick Davison’s boxes play with geometry, the decoration coming from combining a mix of metals such as silver, copper, bronze, alpaca and brass in the construction.
Anna Lorenz’s work is more directly architectural, made of flat pierced sheets of silver that are like distorted graph paper. “I observe and record the city as well as research art and architecture to investigate qualities of space and line in my final vessels.” Israeli Jewish and Islamic architecture found where Tamar De Vries Winter grew up forms the background to her bowls.
However, natural form is a key inspiration for many makers, and none more so than Yusuke Yamamoto, whose beakers and platters are intensely patterned. For Hamish Dobbie it is the geology and landscape of Scotland that stirs the creative juices. He employs advanced technologies such as 3D printing, welding and CNC milling to create elegant and intricate vessels.
For recent graduate Jessica Jue, organic themes such as carnivorous plants underlie the curvaceous shapes of her works, which explore themes of movement based on the Chinese concept of Qi, or vital energy.
Left: Left: Rebecca de Quin’s Line-Up, in sterling silver with oxidised detail and gilding, 130mm high, £3,400
Britannia silver: Yusuke Yamamoto’s Sweet Squama beakers, £1,300 each
Left: Jessica Jue’s Britannia silver bowl with 22ct gold leaf, £3,000