Precious Little Gems Commission: Final Update from Nina Rithalia

Silversmith Nina Rithalia has recently completed her Precious Little Gems commission and her beautiful piece of silverware is now on display in the foyer of Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery.

"This commission presented me with an amazing opportunity to explore new techniques and use equipment new to me such as a lathe and milling machine. I did feel the pressure and pushed myself right up until the deadline but now feel very privileged and proud to see my work in the Millennium Gallery."

In her second year of our Starter Studio Programme for Designer Silversmiths & Jewellers, Nina was selected along with Fenella Watson to receive the annual commission by Sheffield Assay Office. They’ve since been working to complete their pieces using a variety of skilled processes;

“To create the Sun bowl, I engraved lines and shapes, had the bowl spun and then heated up the surface so it slightly melted to give it texture. For the Moon bowl, after it had been spun, I fused silver filings and jump rings to give it a lunar texture.

For the central mechanism, I used a lathe to accurately cut the silver rod and drill a hole in the centre. Then a ‘tap and die’ was used to enable it to be screwed together. I hand filed the top of the centre and formed the arms into shape. The base was spun and I used a lathe to shape a rim onto the base.”

See Nina and Fenella's commissioned silverware in the Foyer of Sheffield's Millennium Gallery until 11th September as part of Sheffield's Year of Making 2016.