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production -the Fair is all about thebespoke, the original and the one-off.Each piece is hand-made by craftsmenin small workshops around the country:collectively, the Fair represents monthsof intense skill and artistry.One of the most important aspects ofthe Fair, aside from being totallyinspirational, is that anyone interested inthe history of the craft and the manydifferent techniques of the goldsmith willfind it both fascinating and educational.Not only are there wonderful piecesincorporating every skill in thegoldsmiths' repertoire to admire andtouch, you can also speak to thedesigner-makers themselves. Each oneis delighted to talk about their work andexplain their techniques, which adds atotally new dimension of interest. Silversmith Wally Gilbert feels that outof all metals, silver is "the most lovely,subtle and versatile" and providesendless opportunities to exercisetraditional skills such as hand-raising,fold-forming, forging, box-making, hand-piercing, chasing, planishing, engravingand etching. Hand-raising is one of the oldesttechniques of silversmithing and isachieved by literally beating a sheet ofsilver over steel or wooden forms usingspecialist hammers to create a shape.This method requires not only skill,knowledge and time but also physicalstrength! Ndidi Ekubia says it's importantto develop a rhythm: "I almost go into amesmerising trance when I beat silver."Beating the silver pushes it to its limitsand the result is an organic and vitalsilver vessel that resonates with Ndidi'spassion and energy. Many silversmiths believe that thisprocess emphasises the aesthetic hand-made appeal, as well as achieving abetter weight distribution. Hand-raisingfrom a single sheet of metal alsoenables the silversmith to achieve aseamless piece with no soldering. This isparticularly evident in the work of WilliamLee, renowned for his extremely largesilver vessels.One young silversmith who is makingquite a name for herself is TheresaNguyen. With the help of a NADFASSouth Mercia scholarship, Theresaspent a year studying at the renownedBishopsland postgraduate workshopand has since undertaken a number ofhigh-profile commissions, including onefor the National Museum of REVIEW / AUTUMN201033GOLDSMITHS' FAIRClockwisefrom top left:Work by TomRucker, NdidiEkubia, AngusMcFadyen,TheresaNguyen, BrianWilliamson,GrahamStewart, William LeeandBrett Payne

Theresa uses fold-forming andhammering techniques to make herstunning silver with sensuous surfacetextures and of undulating forms.Silversmith Brett Payne explains:"Silver is a delicate metal, it demandsprecision and refinement during itsworking. Traditionally, silversmiths workthe metal cold, but if treated with careand respect it can also be worked hot."Although hot forging silver has a longtradition, it is not much practised todayand Brett is one of the few silversmithswho uses this technique to produce hishighly innovative silverware. Surface decoration, as well as form, isan important part of contemporary silver.For Angus McFadyen, ornamentation isan integral part of many of his designs,which he achieves by low-reliefengraving, a painstaking techniquewhich involves cutting into the surface ofthe silver with a sharp tool 'graver'.Aside from an artistic aptitude, a verysteady hand is vital! Engraving andchasing also feature strongly in the silverof Graham Stewart, while BrianWilliamson uses hammer chasing toproduce his distinctive textural slightlypitted finish, which he calls "orange". In contrast, the silver of silversmithingduo Carl Padgham and Andy Putland isnotable for its smooth clean lines withplain high-polished surfaces and detail of design.No strangers to NADFAS, Carl and Andydesigned and made the NADFAS 40th-anniversary commemorative silver badge.Another technique to be found at theFair is mokume gane, a centuries-oldJapanese metalworking technique whichinvolves soldering different metalstogether, producing a sandwich effectwith a woodgrain-like appearance henceits name, which means 'woodgrainmetal'. A number of British silversmithshave become experts in this technique,notably Alastair McCallum and WayneMeeten. Both use it to great effect,producing highly individual pieces, whilejeweller Craig Stuart uses his ownGOLDSMITHS' FAIR34NADFAS REVIEW / AUTUMN adaptation of mokumeganeto make his stylish jewellery. Another exacting and challenging craftassociated with the work of thegoldsmith is enamelling. Enamelling isessentially a form of applying decorationby means of coloured powdered glass,which is then fused onto a metal surfaceby firing at a very high temperature. Dating back to the ancient Egyptians,the methods of enamelling have beenpassed down, largely unchanged, throughthe centuries. Once the powdered glasshas been melted and fused the surface ofthe enamel becomes hard, smooth anddurable. There are various forms ofenamelling technique the most widelypractised being basse-taille, champlevé,cloisonnéand plique-à-jour. Fred Rich, a regular exhibitor atGoldsmiths' Fair, is regarded as one ofBritain's most dynamic and exciting artenamellers. A gifted artist andconsummate craftsman, his mastery ofenamelling brings vivid concepts anddreamlike scenes into being in finesilverware and gold jewellery. Fred explains what he loves aboutenamelling: "It positively glows and givesthe feeling that light is emanating out ofit. To me, anything with enamel on it hasa type of magic or mystery about it -thelustre and quality of colour is just notpossible with any other medium." Freduses what he describes as a hybridof three different types ofenamelling techniques,namely a mixture ofcloisonné(wires fired intothe enamel), champlevé(enam el recessed into themetal), and basse-taille(recessed on a carved or chasedground), developed over the years toproduce his mesmerising silver objectsand gold jewellery. Even after 30 yearshe is still constantly experimenting andpushing the limits of technicalachievement. He is currently working onencrusted enamel, so instead ofenamelling onto a smooth surface, he isapplying enamel onto silver in high reliefproducing an exciting fresh look. Another enamellist, Alexandra Raphaelspecialises in plique-à-jourbowls. Shespends hours bending and shaping herribbons of fine silver and gold wire towhich she gradually applies a thin layerof ground glass, which is then fired. Thispainstaking process is then repeated -layer upon layer of translucent enamelFrom top:Artistsat work-WayneMeeten, TheresaNguyen andenamellist FredRichLeft:An AlastairMcCallummokume ganebowl. Another ofhis bowls ispictured bottomright