The Goldsmiths’ Fair 2014
The Goldsmiths’ Fair is over for another year but the fresh new look, coupled with lots of new exhibitors, made it an exciting show. As this show displays the work of designers-makers – artists who are making wearable sculpture and extraordinary, functional silverware themselves, by hand – it is a different experience to visiting a local jewellery store or even a craft fare where the work on show will have a more commercial flavour. What you see on display is just some of the best work ever created, made in the UK, and displayed sumptuous surroundings of the Goldsmiths’ Hall.
For me, the essence of the show was the creativity: The playful work of Ulli Kaiser inspired by Venus flytraps and underwater creatures; materials used included crochet, fur, beads and silver. This was her first time at the Goldsmiths’ Fair. Rajesh Gogna continues the fun theme with unzipped plates and vessels; as does Mara Irsara with her kinetic jewellery, including the Arrogant Ring and Three Times Straight Ring.
For sheer drama, Jacqueline Cullen’s fabulous drop earrings made of Whitby jet and set with black diamonds was hard to beat; and Ndidi Ekubia’s wonderful, massive, silver wine coolers are just stunning! But at another level, the perfection and expertise of Tom Rucker working in platinum and using some of the most sophisticated laser equipment available today, displayed some exquisite button earrings made of platinum and gold wire, set with tiny diamonds, amongst his more familiar statement pieces. And Craig Stewart using the ancient Japanese skill of mokume gane to blend precious metals, creating extraordinary patterns.
Hand engraving featured – in particular Alan Craxford, master engraver and the man behind the Hand Engravers Association who are dedicated to keeping the skill alive by training young designers in the techniques.
Finally there are those beautiful things that are created as a memory, a story perhaps – for example, Zoe Arnolds necklaces, Rie Taniguchi with her fantasy creatures to play with or wear, and Vicki Ambery-Smith whose fascinating whimsical architecture has earned her permanent exhibition space in the V&A, The Royal Scottish Museum and many private collections.
To read more about the show: http://www.goldsmithsfair.co.uk/blog/