Inspirations from the Archive

Powder Puff Bowl and cover, Fiona McAlear, 2012

Powder Puff Bowl and cover, Fiona McAlear, 2012

 

7 Dec 2012 - 30 June 2013

Gallery 68
Free admission

This display demonstrates the work of young silversmiths as they embark on their careers.

Students on the silversmithing course run by the Bishopsland Educational Trust in 2011-12 spent a day at the V&A's Archive of Art and Design examining, photographing and drawing objects in the Edward Barnard and Sons collection. This huge archive, that survives from one of Britain’s largest and most successful commercial silversmiths of the 19th century, includes metal casting patterns, paper designs, prototype cutlery, photographs and business records.

In response to their visit, the young silversmiths have created silver that shows a strong sensitivity to historic patterns and designs. Working drawings and copper models show the students' ideas in progress. Workshops led by highly accomplished silversmiths, including Malcolm Appleby, Jane Short and Rod Kelly, developed the students' skills in engraved,  chased and enamelled decoration.

The Bishopsland course provides a bridge between academic training and a professional career. It helps young silversmiths create a stock of objects, make contacts, establish a reputation and prepare them for setting up a workshop of their own. Here the students have been encouraged to delve into history in order to create contemporary silver.

The silver and models have been kindly lent by the silversmiths through the Bishopsland Educational Trust.