‘Silvershed Collective’ is a new venture for four friends, Alison, Gail, Lynne, and Vanda.
We have been creating things from silver for many years and have a passion for all things shiny. Everything we make is original and handmade with care. We each have our own styles and stories to tell, but all have a love of creating pieces that will become significant to family and friends, old and new.
Initially studying at different local colleges under the watchful eye of professional silversmith and tutor Alan Hark, we came together and continued learning and laughing in his studio/workshop or, as we liked to call it “the shed.” Nowadays, we meet less often, but when we do it is always a fun occasion, where we share ideas, catch up on work in progress and invariably have tea and cake!
We are delighted that, as a ‘Collective,’ our jewellery will be on shown for a first time at the Heath Robinson Museum as part of the Maker’s Art initiative. It has been an unexpected pleasure and a challenge that we have all embraced. Examples of our work can be found on Instagram #silvershedcollective
My fascination of silversmithing was inherited from my father who was an accomplished maker of larger items. In my own right I prefer to make smaller items such as pendants, bijoux boxes, rings, and commemorative Christmas snowflakes. Visits to the Nordic countries to see their crisp and modern designs influences my creative thinking. Heath Robinson had the gift to make people smile with his cartoons and devices, this is my hope when creating a piece of jewellery.
Having been left some jewellery tools from my Grandad, who was an engraver and jeweller, I signed up for a local BTEC silversmithing course in 2006 and my love for making began! I work in the Conference industry and enjoy making jewellery pieces in between events. I mainly work with silver and enjoy sourcing interesting stones and incorporating them into some of my designs.
Heath Robinsons humour shines through in all his work, which makes it so enjoyable to study and you spot something different each time you look at an illustration. I would have loved to have met him and worked on building one of his contraptions!! To have some of my jewellery pieces on show in the museum as part of the Markers Art is a real privilege.
A Graphic Designer for a global company, I use silversmithing to escape from a stressful job. I have been a keen hobbyist for many years and love learning new techniques and solving challenges. I like to incorporate varied materials, for example Perspex, into my work, and use enamel to enhance some of my designs. Having known about Heath Robinson since I was a child (my parents were fans), I was delighted to discover that there is a museum dedicated to his unique view of the world, where I could re-acquaint myself with, amongst others, Uncle Lublin.
With a love of nature and natural forms, I take ideas and inspiration from everything around me. I love the idea of creating organic 3-dimensional items, essentially from flat silver sheet and wire, sprinkled here and there with the odd gemstone to make things sparkle. I like to make individual, sometimes quirky, but wearable pieces of jewellery. Having completed a year’s Foundation Course in Art and a further three years studying for a Degree in Graphic Design & Illustration, Heath Robinson’s fairies and goblins are a favourite of mine. I wonder if they would like to live in one of my bird houses!
Images of Maker’s work by Michael Lenny