Press Office Contact: Amanda Stücklin
Tel: 020 7367 5913
Goldsmiths’ Fair 2008
At Goldsmiths’ Hall, London EC2
Week One - Monday, September 22 to Sunday, September 28
Week Two - Tuesday, September 30 to Sunday, October 5
Entrance by catalogue purchasable on the door - £6
“Luxury is about design and not cost” - Jewellery exhibitor David Miracca
Succumb to temptation and be seduced by the sparkling range of designer jewellery and stunningly original silverware on sale at the annual Goldsmiths’ Fair. Now in its 26th year, the Fair is the country’s leading showcase for contemporary works in precious metals by artist designer makers, and a total of 160 will travel to London from all round the country to dazzle visitors with their latest creations. The Fair takes place over two weeks and is open to the general public – week one from Monday September 22 to Sunday September 28 and week two from Tuesday September 30 to Sunday October 5.
With the current trend of heightened connoisseurship and a distinct move away from mass production towards bespoke and one-off pieces in general, Goldsmiths’ Fair is the perfect hunting ground for those on a quest for different jewellery and silverware to express their own individualism.
All of the designer-makers are present at the Fair giving visitors the opportunity to engage with them in person – to find out what influences their designs, how and where they source their stones and what skills they use to transform gold and silver into exquisite works of art for adornment, functional use or simply pure pleasure. Buying directly from the maker is so much more interesting and personal - equally all of the makers relish the interaction with the client. Commissioning something bespoke could not be easier and all the items at the Fair resonate with the passion, design and craftsmanship skills of the makers.
This year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair has a particularly exciting line-up of designer-makers. In the jewellery category for example established designer maker Jane Adam, is exhibiting at the Fair for the first time. Previously well known for her highly distinctive jewellery made of anodised aluminium Jane has taken a new direction and is now making a collection of extremely attractive bangles, earrings, brooches and necklaces in textured fine silver and high carat gold, sometimes incorporating coloured precious stones and pearls. The result is thoroughly modern, easy to wear and infinitely stylish.
The elegance and glamour of a bygone age are captured in the jewels of David Miracca whose signature pieces use large, natural coloured stones in conjunction with micro-pavé set diamonds. The Art-Deco period is one of David’s favourites and he likes to reinterpret the essence of the movement in his own jewellery with clean contemporary lines. In David’s opinion “luxury is about design and not cost”. David is one of ten young makers who have been given a free stand and a bursary by the Goldsmiths’ Company to help get them started.
Rising star David McCaul focuses his considerable talents on designing and making highly original and exquisite rings. With a fluidity of their own David’s rings transcend the traditional format sensuously caressing and complementing the contours of the hand and fingers with sweeping curves accentuated with tiny sparkling gems in a way that is pure Sex in the City!
The new Motion Ring collection from another young traditionally trained jeweller Bobby White is equally innovative and exciting. The collection is designed with hidden hinges and interlocking sections that enable the separate elements of the ring to move. When not worn the ring takes on a completely different shape and can be put on a chain as a pendant or become an intriguing work of art to sit on the dressing table.
Likewise Shaun Leane has created a line of large colourful interlocking rings which are set in three exotic colour ways so that the colours can be alternated and combined creatively to suit one’s mood.
The romance and colours of the East provide jewellery designer Ming with much of her inspiration and her current collections Asian Princess and Lake Palace are exotic and luxurious, incorporating a profusion of gems, pearls and cascades of filigree stars. Likewise recent graduate Ana de Costa’s first fine jewellery collection reflects her freethinking bohemian spirit. Ana’s delicately hand crafted jewellery is luxurious, decadent, elegant and quirky and designed to make a statement. As a dedicated colourist all her jewels are set with a stunning selection of rare coloured stones. Ana was recently invited to design and create a capsule collection of jewellery for the Tanzanite Foundation, a stone she loves for its multi-dimensional colour and tones and which lends itself perfectly to the design led nature of her work.
Exotic and unusual gem stones are the focus and very often the starting point of many of the designer’s work. Unusual cuts are sought and imperfections are embraced often becoming an integral part of the design. For example jeweller David Fowkes has designed a collection of gemstone jewellery which challenges the normal conventions and techniques of design and manufacture. His Stones with Attitude Range features unusual cutting and a deliberate emphasis on inclusions and crystals in their raw natural state which results in truly intriguing pieces of jewellery.
First time exhibitor Nicholas Yiannarakis combines both stonecutting and metalwork skills in his creations. Nicholas experiments with cuts that push the boundaries of traditional gem-cutting. He cuts the stones himself and then builds the piece around them until stone and metal become one. Kelvin Birk in total contrast prefers to crush and pulverise gem stones and then reconstruct them on precious metal structures.
In contrast to top end gem stones jeweller Grace Girvan incorporates the humble but equally beautiful pebble into her simple silver and enamel jewellery, proving that beautiful jewellery is as much about artistry and craftsmanship than the intrinsic value of the materials used. The solid, dark grey of the pebbles is complemented by the soft, pale water-colour like appearance of the transparent enamel, its surface worked until it is pebble smooth in an attempt to emulate the effects of the sea.
In fact many of the designer makers successfully juxtapose precious and non precious materials to create stunning and impressive jewels. Kathy Vones, for example humorously combines cascades of her brightly coloured signature silicone shapes set in fine silver wire cages, with precious stones and freshwater pearls. Ornella Iannuzzi’s latest collection was developed around pyrite minerals collected in the French Alps, likewise Jacqueline Cullen is the only jeweller to use Whitby jet in a non-traditional and contemporary way. Like pyrite, Whitby jet is also ethical and green as raw samples are found washed up by the tide or exposed in the rock face after a storm.
The designer-makers find inspiration for their works from a wide range of sources. New exhibitor Christine Kaltoft’s jewellery collection is based on her series of sketches made of the chickens she keeps in her London garden. Her jewellery is hand-made from silver, 18 carat gold, stainless steel and walnut wood and endeavours to capture some of the lightness, movement and elegant volumes of the birds. Equally light in appearance is Tom Rucker’s highly sophisticated laser welded platinum jewellery which is inspired by monumental architectural structures such as Sir Norman Foster’s new German Parliament building in Berlin.
With the huge range of jewellery at all price levels – for both women and men – there are plenty of interesting cufflinks, rings, chains and lapel pins for the chaps - the Fair offers something for everybody whatever their individual styles.
Likewise the silverware on sale is equally beguiling and just as varied. Function and aesthetics are fused into a stunning range of silver dishes, bowls, vases, jugs, flatware, candlesticks, boxes and table decorations and all manner of objects to complement and enhance stylish contemporary living.
The humble tea-pot regains its status with some interesting new interpretations in silver. Particularly eye-catching is Justin Richardson’s unusually shaped example with its wonderful curled “tail” like wooden handle. In addition new exhibitor Rajesh Gogna has researched and explored the tradition of tea drinking to produce an interesting collection of silverware based on the tea theme.
Likewise the vase takes on a new format in the hands of silversmiths such as Angela Cork and recent RCA graduate Olivia Lowe. Angela’s current work includes a range of vases for a single stem that frame the flower like a picture. When not used as a vase it works equally well as a piece of sculpture. Likewise Olivia discovers new forms by examining the physical requirements of a container for cut flowers and exploring how the form of the container can control or affect the arrangement of the blooms. Rather than the vase merely performing the physical function of containment, the resulting composition is one in which the metal and the flowers combine to form a single, sculptural ‘object of beauty’.
Olivia and another young silversmith Shona Marsh have both been given free stands at Goldsmiths’ Fair, in recognition of their considerable talent. Shona aspires to create pieces that are used within the house in the traditional place of silver yet fit in with modern living. Her collection consists of pieces ranging from candelabra to a silver inlaid cheeseboard and knife set. Shona often combines silver with fine woods as they bring warmth to the pieces and she finds lighter woods such as sycamore and maple give the pieces a modern edge.”
Other every day objects also have their status raised to works of art. Frances Lowe’s silverware work is designed with both aesthetics and practicality in mind. The butter dish and knife and mustard pot and spoon, for example, can be used successfully for their intended purposes as well as being appreciated as modern and tactile objects. Similarly Esther Lord’s unique, handcrafted vessels of complex forms engage on an artistic level, but simultaneously retain reference to function.
As with jewellery, many silversmiths combine precious and non-precious metals in their work. Grant McCaig for example specialises in simple forms in silver punctuated by found materials and recycled wood. Victoria Kershaw on the other hand uses re-constituted stone combined with silver to produce her functional line of tableware.
In contrast Clare Ransom explores the intrinsic qualities of silver as a craft material, manipulating a single sheet using hammers, punches and formers to gather and pleat the silver, drawing it inwards into soft, flowing organic bowls and vessels. Pamela Rawnsley’s signature vessel forms, which combine subtle curves with textured surfaces, exude a quiet presence where function of meaning is suggested but not explicit.
Colour is added to silver by means of enamelling and one of the main exponents of this exacting skill on a large scale is Fred Rich, whose vases and candlesticks are exquisitely enamelled with a variety of vibrant scenes of flowers, birds, butterflies, fish and the like. Other silversmiths who incorporate enamelling in their silverwork include Clive Burr, Alexandra Raphael, Jenny Edge, Tamar de Vries Winter and Joan Mackarell.
Goldsmiths’ Fair takes place in the grandest of settings, the magnificent Goldsmiths’ Hall, situated just behind St Paul’s Cathedral. Designed by Philip Hardwick, the Hall opened in 1835 and today remains one of London’s hidden architectural treasures.
Talent spotting at Goldsmiths’ Fair:
Goldsmiths’ Fair is not only about established talent but is also about talent spotting! Ten young graduates make their professional debut with the help of a bursary and a free stand from the Goldsmiths’ Company which enables them to get started. This year’s upcoming stars are:
Liam Beckett – jeweller
Adele Brereton – jeweller
Louise Chesshire – jeweller
Tomasz Donocik – jeweller
Ornella Iannuzzi – jeweller
Rebecca Little – jeweller
Olivia Lowe – silversmith
Shona Marsh – silversmith
David McCaul –jeweller
David Miracca – jeweller
Notes to Editors:
Event: Goldsmiths’ Fair
Week One - Monday, September 22 to Sunday, September 28
Week Two - Tuesday, September 30 to Sunday, October 5
Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane, London EC2V 6BN
Tel: 020 7606 7010
Website: http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk / http://www.whoswhoingoldandsilver.com
Opening times: 11am to 7.00pm Monday to Friday / 10am to 6.00pm Saturday and Sunday
Admission: By catalogue – one week £6, two weeks £10.
Transport: Underground: St Paul’s, Mansion House, Barbican Buses: Routes 8, 11, 25, 100, 242, 501
Café: Open daily for sandwiches, salads and hot meals, champagne, wines, tea, coffee and soft drinks
For further information and images please contact:
Amanda Stücklin, the Goldsmiths’ Company, Tel: 020 7367 5913
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