You may remember me mentioning the Contemporary British Silversmiths’ “Skills Training Programme” in some of my earlier posts form 2018 and 2019 when I talked about the training I received on asymmetric raising and tray sinking whilst visiting a fellow silversmith’s workshop in north Wales, and later assisting master silversmith Rebecca de Quinn teach raising skills to graduate silversmiths in London. Well, this August the Skills Training Programme came to Sheffield, and this time I assisted master silversmiths Tony Bedford and Rauni Higson teach raising skills to another set of recent graduates in the former Silversmithing Starter Studio at Yorkshire Artspaces’ Persistence Works building.
The students were set the task of making a vessel by raising or seaming and raising, and then re-create it so they ended up with an identical pair of vessels. The aim was for them to learn the importance of producing accurate working drawings and templates, as well as taking notes throughout the initial production so that they are able to reproduce work accurately to order.
Whilst assisting the primary tutors, Tony and Rauni, I was able to have a go at producing a piece using the seaming and raising technique which is new to me. This involves creating an open-ended cylinder from a sheet of silver and soldering it together, thus creating a seam. The shape of the vessel is them produced by forming the silver over a stake with a hammer – raising. Once the body is worked to the desired form, the base is then soldered in. The result was this little cream jug, which I was extremely pleased with, and whose design leads from the Chocolate Pot I created last year and the Tattersall Jug commission finished earlier this year, exploring the aesthetic and functional relationship between handle and main form.
The cream jug was completed in time to take to this year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair where it drew much admiration and swiftly found a new home.