Since yesterday was the 4th of July I decided to have a look across the ocean at American Silversmiths. America has a great history of silversmithing and has lots of societies and organisations dedicated to maintaining this 3000 year old craft. I didn’t know I was part of a 3000 year old club until I found the Society of American Silversmiths website. It’s nice to know they were dealing with the same hammering, forming and soldering problems all those years ago!
When most people think of American silversmiths they probably think of Paul Revere, the country’s best known silversmith. Although he was made famous for his legendary ‘midnight ride’ in the American Revolution and not his silverware!
I’ve picked out a few pieces from some American artists, of course there is lots more amazing work out there but this is just a little taster to celebrate Independence Day.
I found the work of Michel Royston through the Society of American Silversmiths website, where I also spotted the work of Cynthia Eid who’s masterclass I’ll be attending this month. I love Royston’s flatware. Like all the best functional work it is just crying out to be put to use. This ladle which is hand forged is a perfect balance of beauty and function.
The other American silversmith I wanted to talk about Randy Stromsoe. I posted a picture of his workshop last year when I was dreaming of my perfect workspace. I kept meaning to come back to his work but I couldn’t remember his name and figured some day I would stumble across it. When I was doing a bit of Googling for this piece I found him and was reminded why I wanted to revisit his work.
I was looking at the website to see where he is based and discovered he has an exhibition space in Paso Robles, California. Paso Robles is a small town between Los Angeles and San Francisco that is well known for it’s wine. (I think it’s where the film ‘Sideways’ was filmed). Now here’s the weird thing…I’ve been to Paso Robles and I’ve stood in that gallery and I’ve drooled at his beautiful silver. And not until today did I put all of those facts together! When I was California last summer (sorry shameless name drop) we spent two days in Paso Robles sampling some of their amazing wine. After a tiring day of drinking wine we took a walk around the town and found a gallery that was having an exhibition opening. Randy Stromsoe’s work jumped out at me straight away, not only because it was silver but because it was so beautifully made. So there you go, my tribute to the 4th of July resulted in the rediscovery of this silver that had been blurred by a weekend of wine drinking.