Having heard that the winner of the 16th Silver Trienial had been announced I went in search of some news of the competition. This International competition was set up by the Gesellschaft fur Goldschmiedekunst and the Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus in Hanau, or for those of you who don’t speak German, The Association for Goldsmiths Art and the German Goldsmiths House, Hanau. The exhibition has been running every three years since 1965 to showcase the latest trends and techniques in silversmithing. The only criteria is that the pieces must be hand made, executed in silver and cannot be items of jewellery. This year they selected 158 artists from 20 countries which was then whittled down to 83 participants for the traveling exhibition. You would think with that many people involved it would be pretty easy to get some more information on the Internet. Surprisingly there seems to be very little written on the exhibition, which is really disappointing considering I had gone to the effort of typing (and spelling correctly) Gesellschaft fur Goldschmiedekunst into google! It did throw up some German websites which mentioned the competition but that was it. I even stumbled across a Korean website that had a piece on the show but brilliant and all as google translator is, it’s reading of Korean silversmithing was poor at best.
Despite all these obstacles I dug up some images of some of the winning entries. The main prize was awarded to Astrid Keller from Bremen with her collection of monochrome vases. These vessels are formed by distorting sheet silver which has been carefully folded. She uses white and blackened silver to highlight the forms and curves of the pieces. I love seeing pieces like this that immediately make you question how they created these forms and cause you to pick apart the technique used. I’m still getting my head around how she kept the beautiful folds while finishing the pieces.
The other main prize went to Belgian artist Nilton Cunha for his silver vessel ‘ The Four Winds’. The real strength of this piece is the technical ability it displays. He manages to marry geometric and organic forms seamlessly. I like the fact that even though it looks like a very sleek piece he seems to have left evidence of the hammer marks on the surface which really softens the form. While the simplicity of the piece is enriched by the play of light and shadow on the silver. Since you’re not likely to find much about it anywhere else here are some more images of other entrants. These images were found on www.klimt02.net