I am a silversmith. I enjoy the history and the hand skills associated with being a silversmith. I am just as happy hand-raising a bowl as I am hand-forging flatware. Whatever the format though, my work is based on similar characteristics.
I believe the best classic design, from a Viking longboat to a Concorde supersonic aircraft, is based on strong clean lines, and these are the qualities I strive for in my work.
For the hollow ware I either hand-raise, spin or seam my pieces, choosing the option best suited to the design. My hollow ware often has the addition of chased lines. These act to reinforce the line of the piece as in the Deloraine water jug, assists to change the surface plane as in the bowls, or separates areas for differing surface textures as in the two images of the tall candlesticks.
Most of my seamed pieces are in the square form which I have given a softer look. By rounding slightly the sharp corners and flat planes, it has taken away the harsh appearance of the square format and allowed construction of a more visual and tactile friendly object. This format also enhances the line of my work by presenting an edge which changes in a far more dynamic manner when turned around than the circular object, especially with the introduction of the chased line.
Much of my flatware is built around the off-centre long slow curve on one side, which is then balanced through sectional strong weight on the opposite side.
Incidentally, dramster is my contribution to the English language. I have never liked the term ‘beaker’ for my small drinking vessels, so I have taken ‘dram’, which is a small measure of liquid and created the term ‘dramster’ as a container for a small measure of liquid. My own preference has the connection “I’ll ha’e another wee dram laddie”, but it applies to whatever is the drink of choice.
I hope the pieces in the Silverware Gallery show part of the range of my practice and the love I have of being a silversmith.