At Table, Part II: Contemporary Tableware in Metalwork and Silver

11 November - 31 December 2008

Blackwell’s exhibition programme for 2008 closes with a selling exhibition of contemporary tableware, At Table, Part II, the counterpart to the highly successful At Table, Part I.

At Table, Part II showcases tableware in metalwork and silver. Nine designer-silversmiths have been selected to participate, bringing together makers from England, Scotland, Wales, Germany and Denmark. Maike Dahl, like the other makers, believes that ‘the most precious thing about silver is to use it’, and it is in the sheer breadth of designs and approaches to creating functional pieces that the exhibition’s appeal lies.

The exhibitors:
Maike Dahl’s aim is to bring silver back into our daily lives by making silverware that is both easy to handle and dishwasher-safe. Maike’s tableware is adaptable to modes of modern living and is focused on the `take-away’ generation: mobile, responsive and independent.

Sidsel Dorph-Jensen uses traditional silversmithing techniques in an untraditional way: ‘I create objects that show the malleability and organic nature of silver.’

Eileen Gatt is fascinated by ancient myths and customs and uses these as a starting point when designing her silverware. She aims to create pieces that portray an element of fantasy which in turn bring these ancient myths into our modern world.

Grant McCaig is one of Scotland’s leading silversmiths. He is inspired by nature and its effects on the man-made. His work reflects in particular man’s relationship with the sea in the shapes he creates, the finishes he achieves and the materials he selects.

Rauni Higson’s work is rooted in the cold forging of silver. ‘I enjoy exploring the distortion of metal in 3-Dimensions to form pieces that are both attractive and functional.’

Victoria Kershaw produces functional tableware and combines silver with other materials such as concrete and rubber.

Shimara Carlow was born in the remote coastal area of West Cork; a childhood fascination for collecting shells, stones, mermaids purses’, feathers and pods found along the sea shore has been the inspiration for her work.

Rebecca Lawley evolves her forms through sketching and enjoys studying industrially- made ceramics from the 1940s to the 1960s as a source of ideas. Many of her handmade shapes grow under the hammer as she raises a bowl or forges a tapering spoon handle.

Maya Selway likes the idea that her objects become props in a domestic, museum or gallery setting. ‘My inspirations are diverse; nature and architecture, painting and film, personal memory and literature.’

All of the pieces on display will be for sale. Arts Council England’s Own Art scheme which is designed to make it easy and affordable for everyone to buy contemporary works of art and craft, will be promoted in the gallery. The Own Art scheme aims to put the arts at the heart of national life by encouraging people to live with art they love.

Image - Eileen Gatt, ‘Bear and Hare Vessels’ silver and 18ct gold © the artist 2008
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