I love the whole process of silversmithing, from the challenge of thinking up ideas of what to make or designing a piece to fulfill a client’s description, right through to exercising the skill and precision needed to complete the work.
My designs are contemporary yet based on conventional techniques. Practical constraints imposed by size and shape, and the mechanics of the design, can be turned to advantage in producing modern silver tableware.
My journey into silversmithing began when I joined my father in his workshop in the school holidays. After that, I worked my way through a number of City and Guilds courses, before going up to Sheffield Hallam University to study for a degree in metalwork and jewellery. Later, as a result of my time at the university, I was chosen to produce the 2008 St Leger Classic Horse Racing Trophy.
I have been fortunate to work with some wonderful and very experienced designer silversmiths. After graduating, I was asked to join Brian Asquith, silversmith, sculptor and industrial designer. His company employed a team of designers and technicians who were dedicated to producing work of a very high quality. Being shown how to achieve these demanding standards, while working under the keen eye of one of their top silversmiths, David Mason, was a terrific education.
The School of Jewellery in Birmingham beckoned and after successfully completing a Master of Arts degree in silversmithing, I decided that I did not want to become too engaged within the folds of the family business. I felt that I would benefit from working with other silversmiths and seeing how their practices operated.
So I moved to London. There I was able to work in many different fields, developing and producing work for architects, interior designers and fine artists. One of my own pieces was a Chain of Office for the Rotary Club of Edinburgh in 18ct gold. The piece used many of the skills that I had acquired and honed over the years, including hand engraving, chasing, modelling and soldering. It required a great deal of problem solving and a lot of Delft casting clay.
Eventually, I settled back in Sheffield, this time to make it my home as well as my business base. I was accepted by the Goldmiths’ Fair in 2004, where I sold the first piece of my own work, a pair of Orb Salt and Pepper Grinders. I have been exhibiting at the spectacular Silversmithing and Jewellery show ever since.
I hope this brief potted history has given you a clue to the passion I have for silversmithing, and that you enjoy browsing the rest of the site.