Author: Brett Payne

Contemporary British Silversmith

Making Your Own Tools

Medieval smiths
Medieval Silversmiths in their Workshop, Niklaus Manuel, 1515

A craftsman would be nothing without his tools. Ask any maker and whatever material they work in, whether it’s wood, ceramics or textiles, they will tell you that they have a favourite tool. It goes without saying that different tools are suited to different techniques: in our case, a forging hammer is very different from a planishing hammer, for example. Sometimes, the only way to get a tool that fulfils a specific requirement is to make it yourself. We have been designing a lot of vases and carafes this year and, as a result, we have been making our own raising and planishing stakes, which we use to raise the shape of each vessel in britannia silver. The stakes themselves are made from steel; hammered, filed and ground into the desired shape.

Portrait of a Workshop

Brett Payne-210417-170

Over a trillion photographs will have been taken worldwide before the end of this year. It’s never been easier to show others where you are and what you’re doing at any given moment of the day. The trick, it seems, is to remember to take the picture in the first place! All too often we get caught up in what we’re doing in the workshop and only once a task is completed does it occur to us that it might have made an interesting video or photo.

Over the last few weeks, photographer Ben Boswell and filmmaker Mathy Selvakumaran have photographed and filmed us on two separate ordinary days in the workshop. The resulting photographs (below) and short film (above) capture the day-to-day detail of our workshop – the things and the faces that aren’t usually the focus of our posts.

The Ultimate Indulgence

Silver, like good food, is all about indulgence. It gratifies, it satisfies and quality is key.

2015-03-17 19.09.49.jpgChoosing to cook in a silver pan is not a choice made out of neccessity – it’s an act of love. If you love your food and take the time to source the tastiest ingredients you can get your hands on, why not do them justice with a silver pan?

Coming To A Craft Fair Near You!

deck chair and tumbler

At the Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft Festival last summer we were quite taken with the Vintage Mobile Cinema that rocked up at Mill Marsh Park in Devon to entertain visitors to the show with Pathe films from the 1940s and ’50s about British craftspeople and their work.

Bringing a taste of something special and refreshing to town halls and village greens across the nation is something we share with the ice-cream vans and mobile cinemas of this world, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Our programme for 2017 is already packed with spring, summer and autumn events across 12 different counties, from Edinburgh to Devon, in marquees, grand halls and galleries. We’ve now updated the ‘Events‘ page on our website. We’re coming to a craft fair near you!