Charlotte Tollyfield Charlotte Tollyfield

Artist Statement

Charlotte in her workshop at Persistence Works

I am passionate about silver. The excitement of starting a new project, the challenges that you encounter during the making process and the delight of holding and looking at the finished object delivers a job satisfaction like no other.

Despite not having a brain particularly well equipped to deal with mathematics, I have always had a fascination with geometric shapes, symmetry and pattern, which has been evident in my work throughout my creative career from being at school.

My earlier silversmithing pieces came from a period of experimentation with basic 3D forms – in particular, the sphere or hemisphere – creating paper machè models and systematically breaking them down into sections to then re-assemble the pieces in new formations. Whilst this led to the realisation that I would always arrive back at another geometric shape – a square, a triangle – it also introduced curves and dynamic angles that would not have appeared in a simple drawing.

Using those discoveries as a basis, I create a range of modes to use as a visual aide and now find myself begin to focus on the composition and structure, rather than the creation of, shape and form when designing new pieces. My mantra used to be heavily weighted to the function of a piece “designed for the interactive environment of the dining table where the silver is not just on display, but there to be actively used.”, but while function is no less important to me, I am finding that my work is becoming more sculptural and the pieces command more of a presence within the space they occupy.

Part of this process has been the introduction of other, complimentary, materials - predominantly wood and stainless steel. These materials have brought colour, contrast and texture to an otherwise minimalist aesthetic, but perhaps their greatest influence has been in the structure of the pieces. The steel or wood creates a framework that then dictates the form of the silver, whether it be cladding around a skeletal wooden frame or a bowl that mimics the curves of the steel stand underneath and creating a pool of reflection and illusion. The silver has become a connecting component that completes a piece, in some cases actually giving it its function. Take the silver away and you take the sense out of it.


  • August 2008 - September 2010

    Starter Studio Programme for Emerging Designer Silversmiths

    Yorkshire ArtSpace Society, Sheffield

  • September 2007 - August 2008

    Bishopsland Postgraduate Training Course

    Bishopsland Educational Trust, South Oxfordshire

  • September 2004 - July 2007

    BA(Hons) Designed Metalwork and Jewellery

    Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire


  • October 2011

    Goldsmiths' Fair Best New Merchandise Award

    Awarded by The Goldsmiths' Company of London

  • April 2011

    Goldsmiths' Fair Graduate Bursary Award

    Awarded by The Goldsmiths' Company of London

  • March 2011

    Cookson Precious Metal Sponsorship

    Awarded by British Silver Week

  • March 2010

    Museums Sheffield Metalwork Design Award: Shortlisted Finalist

    Awarded by Sheffield Museums Trust & Sheffield Forgemasters

  • March 2010

    Cookson Precious Metal Bursary

    Awarded by British Silver Week

  • March 2009

    Cookson Precious Metal Sponsorship

    Awarded by British Silver Week

  • May 2008

    Esmee Fairburn Gold Bursary: Commended Award

    Awarded by Bishopsland Educational Trust

  • April 2008

    Goldsmiths' Company Silver Grant Award

    Awarded by The Goldsmiths' Company of London & Bishopsland Educational Trust

  • April 2007

    Goldsmiths' Company Silver Grant Award

    Awarded by The Goldsmiths' Company of London & Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College

Recent Exhibitions

  • Elements 2

    Lyon & Turnbull Auction House, 33 Broughton Place, EH1 3RR
    November 2016

  • Yorkshire Artspace Open Studios

    Persistence Works, 21 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS
    November 2015

  • The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Worksop, Notts S80 3LW
    November 2015

  • Salisbury Contemporary Craft & Heritage Fair

    Salisbury Cathedral, 33 The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EJ
    September 2015