This week I’m taking a look at the silverware of Alex Ramsay. She uses traditional silversmithing techniques along with her stunning contemporary designs to create a range of vessels.
Her silverware inspired by silver nitrate photography explores the ideas of light and dark, positive and negative in these pairs of vessels. Many of her pieces group together a silver vessel with a hand blown glass vessel. The combination works beautifully each object reflecting different elements of the materials.
I don’t know much about hand blown glass but I think the design here is created by the addition of copper oxide to give these effects of light and dark. The silver vessels area all hand raised with the surface patterns on the glass creating a starting point for each pattern on the metal. She begins by raising the forms of the outside and the inside bowl separately and then transferring the patterns onto the domed silver. These drawn patterns are then painstakingly pierced out of the silver using a traditional silversmiths saw frame. Once the design has been cut out, the two bowls are soldered together to create these hollow layered vessels.
The double walled technique is used to great effect here to build up the shadow and depth of the silver vessel. It also enhances the play between reflection and shadow. When the silver vessel and the glass vessel are brought together they become a unique pair, each piece balancing and reflecting the other. If you want to see more of this amazing work take a look at her website or she’s also featured in the members gallery of the Contemporary British Silversmiths.