Tuesday, 10 May 2011


British Silver Week 2011

'Festival of Silver'


Dandelion beaker by Fred Rich

"Contemporary silversmithing is enjoying a renaissance in the UK," says Gordon Hamme, the managing director of British Silver Week, "In the last three hundred years there have never been more talented working silversmiths in the UK.
The teaching by the art colleges of traditional silversmithing skills combined with contemporary design ideas has produced a remarkable group of modern silversmiths.

"Silversmithing is the great, unsung craft. People are only now starting to appreciate the craftsmanship as works of art, which are often beautiful sculptures, many with a practical use too. At British Silver Week events there will be pieces on sale from as little as £200 to £100,000. This is the best opportunity to meet the widely diverse and enormously talented silversmiths currently working in the UK and enables people to view, buy and commission works of art from these great British makers," says Hamme.

British Silver Week started 2011 well by exhibiting 20 silversmiths' work at the Inhorgenta trade fair, Munich, in February. From this, two exhibitions were booked in Malaysia and Seoul, Korea after conversations at Inhorgenta. Oeding Erdel in Malaysia has 4 jewellery boutiques in Penang and Kuala Lumpur and will be exhibiting nine silversmiths' work at the Petronas Towers, KL and also at their
prestigious Penang outlet.

Space Duru Gallery in Seoul is owned by jewellery professor Myungjoo Lee, who is holding her first silversmithing exhibition in October at her new gallery.

British Silver Week is working with three of London's West End's most important retailers to promote contemporary silversmithing. De Vroomen, in Belgravia, is holding its fourth British Silver Week exhibition whilst in Mount Street, William & Son are promoting the master-silversmith Steve Wager as well as new
designer-maker Rebecca Joselyn and the great enameller Fred Rich for their first British Silver Week exhibition. Garrard will hold a 'Best of British' show in September curated by the creative director Stephen Webster.

British Silver Week 2011 'Festival of Silver' at Pangolin London,
Kings Place, King's Cross, London. 9-13 May
Open 10.30am to 7.30pm Mon - Fri

Press view Monday 9th May at 1.00pm. Prize giving by Lord Cunliffe 2.00pm.
The five-day 'Festival of Silver' at Pangolin London will highlight the depth and breadth of UK contemporary silversmithing. "The first day is great fun with all 100 British Silver Week silversmiths showing their work and having a get-together," says Hamme.

Day 2, The 'Masters' Day', will feature 20 of the UK's finest artist-silversmiths demonstrating traditional skills. While the skills and the enormous dedication required have barely changed in hundreds of years the artistry has. Men like Malcolm Appleby, who will be one of the leading participants, are taking
silversmith-engraving to new heights.

Day 3, 'Decorative Silver, Engraving and Enamel' features collections by 22 master-silversmiths, chasers, engravers and enamellers. Headlining is the Goldsmiths' Company and Cartier Award winning enameller, Fred Rich, who may have to fire a piece of work 20-30 times in a kiln to achieve all the colours he wants to use, risking the whole piece of work each time.

Day 4, 'Rising Stars of British Silver Week' features collections by 24 of Britain's up-and-coming new silversmiths. Many of the makers come from Bishopsland in Berkshire, the finishing academy for many future fine contemporary silversmiths and jewellers.

The final day, 'Collections & Commissioning Day' features contemporary silver collections including the Pearson Collection, one of Britain's largest post-war silver collections, together with the work of 15 master-silversmiths who will discuss their work and commissioning silverware. "Steve Wager, exhibiting on the Commissioning Day, is a fascinating man with over 25 years experience at the great Asprey
workshop in London, making for sultans and kings. He can raise a bar of silver into a work of art just using traditional hammers and simple files, one of the truly great modern craftsmen," says Hamme

Two of Edinburgh's most established businesses to collaborate

For the first time Hamilton & Inches and The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh will collaborate on a joint exhibition with some of Scotland's finest silversmiths and show some of the best English silversmithing and enamelling.

This joint project will bring together two companies who have championed silversmiths over the years. The Scottish Gallery has exhibited contemporary silver for over four decades and supports and champions Scottish, UK and international silversmiths and metalworkers. The gallery has provided a consistent, highquality
platform for the best of Scottish silversmithing, showing the best graduates and established makers.

Sponsored by the Edinburgh Assay Office and working in partnership with British Silver Week, British Silver Month will see work from great Scottish silversmiths being exhibited at The Scottish Gallery. The aim is to highlight the field, the breadth of beautiful, quality work and the individual makers, the studio workshop practice and give some insight into a unique Scottish silversmithing history and tradition.

Scottish artists include Malcolm Appleby, considered the finest gun engraver in the world and storyteller in metal, and other great Scottish silversmiths such as Adrian Hope, Grant McCaig and Marion Kane who all exhibited in 'Silver for the Stars'. Also exhibiting will be Cartier Award winning enameller Fred Rich whose work will include pieces such as the breathtaking Venus Vase. On Saturday 2nd July, there will be
a rare opportunity to meet Fred and discuss his work. Unique to this collaboration the Hamilton & Inches apprentices, David Ramsay and Jamie Hamper will exhibit their own work at The Scottish Gallery. In addition, Hamilton & Inches will exhibit the work of around 6 silversmiths at its London store, 52 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge in June.

Editor's notes

Now in its fourth year, British Silver Week has benefited hugely from patronage and sponsorship from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths' as lead patron, all the UK Assay Offices and trade organisations, and Lord Cunliffe.

The original launch at Goldsmiths' Hall set the tone for British Silver Week in 2008 as an organisation of the highest order. In 2009 over 40,000 people saw a major exhibition at Chatsworth, the home of the Duke of Devonshire, a renowned contemporary silver collector.

In the last three years 57 selling exhibitionsin England, Scotland and Wales have sold more than £750,000 of silverware.

Curated by John Andrew, The Pearson Collection is one of Britain's largest privately held, post-war silver collections. A small selection from the collection will be on display on the 13 May at Pangolin London Gallery.

The concept of British Silver Week was brought together by Gordon Hamme in partnership with the renowned silversmith Brett Payne. Gordon and his wife Angela are also known as keen collectors of contemporary silver.

Selling events start from 6 June at:

· De Vroomen (Belgravia) 6-30 June
· Garrard (Mayfair) 19-23 September
· Hamilton & Inches (Edinburgh) 1-30 July
· Hamilton & Inches (London) 6 June-2 July
· John Higgins Contemporary Silver (Sussex) 18 June-3 July
· Payne & Son (Silversmiths) Ltd (Tunbridge Wells) 6-25 June
· The Scottish Gallery (Edinburgh) 2-31 July
· Sheffield Assay Office (Butcher Works) 14-25 June
· Urban Armour Ltd (Burnham Market, Norfolk) 16 June-23 July
· William & Son (Mayfair) 6-17 June
· Oeding Erdel in Malaysia
· OE@Gurney in Penang 12-15 August
· OE@KLCC in Kuala Lumpur 19-22 August
· Space Duru Gallery in Seoul, Korea 25 October-8 November.

Interviews and images can be requested from office@britishsilverweek.co.uk

T: office: 012496 56230
T: Gordon Hamme: 0795 686 5423