This year, two young silversmiths in the second year of the Starter Studio Programme have been selected to receive the annual ‘Precious Little Gems’ commission from Sheffield Assay Office.
Having completed the designs for their commissions, Fenella Watson and Nina Rithalia are now working toward completing their pieces for April.
Having received the material later on into the commission than first expected, I was quite anxious about the time remaining and keen to get started on the pieces. The hardest part so far has been managing the piercing out of the main structures from the single sheet of silver - The sheet is thicker than anything I've worked in before and weighed just over a kilo, which made it difficult to manoeuvre whilst cutting. It's getting there now though and I can't wait to see it finished!
If all goes to plan (fingers crossed) I hope to have the pieces completed by 20th March, in time for Hallmarking and photography before it gets handed over to go on display at the Millennium Galleries just after Easter."
This year, Sheffield Assay Office has secured sponsorship from Bradford based Bullion Company, Fowler Oldfield who’ve generously agreed to support the commissions by supplying the silver required to make the two pieces.
Assay Master, Ashley Carson is delighted with the new sponsor coming on board; “It is always great news to find a company willing to support new up and coming silversmiths and supporting the industry”
Greg Frankel, Director of Fowler Oldfield said, “The Precious Little Gems are an amazing collection of contemporary designs; we as a company are delighted to support the production of this year’s commissions."
Look out for the completed works, which will be on display in the main reception area of Millennium Galleries in Sheffield from April to September as part of the Year of Making 2016.