I have been working in silver since 2007 – moving from the world of the luxury automotive industry. For over 20 years I produced hand made bespoke pieces for Rolls Royce, Bentley and Morgan Motor Company; sometimes one off items, sometimes a batch of hundreds, but always working to a high standard of finish and accuracy. Any drawing put in front of me had to be made – as a consequence I have an approach to my work that means nothing is discounted as too difficult to make.
Studying at Birmingham School of Jewellery from 2007 til 2009, followed by two years artist residency, I had the opportunity to develop my own practice. I wanted to make work that could embody the attention to detail that I had brought with me from industry. During my studies the simplicity of 20th century Scandinavian design appealed to me – and these forms became the starting point to developing my own work.
The work I now produce comes from this tradition and a responsive aptitude to making. The processes I use couple traditional metalworking skills with new technology – in particular laser welding. Individual strips of silver are hand-formed before being joined to form a complex surface. A number of surface elements within one piece can collide to create contrasting smooth and jagged edges resulting in decorative qualities and surface depth. The volumes that the final pieces take are visualized at the outset – but the surface quality and resulting jagged edges emerge as the work is made.
The resulting works, varied in scale, form and function are visually appealing and I am told, highly covetable.
In my current work I produce a first edition which is made from TIG welding hand cut strips of silver, a piece can be made up from as many as 24 sections, themselves made up of hundreds of hand cut strips. From these sections I will take moulds which will allow me to make a further 5 editions. The first entirely hand made edition can take up to six months to complete.
Castings will be made from these moulds using the ancient lost wax process. Once cast in silver a lot of handwork is still required to clean up the castings. I may have to add further strips of silver which couldn’t be added in the casting process. The sections are then TIG welded together and finished to a very high standard.