Nan Nan Liu

BREAD BASKET

2016

Sterling and fine silver, PUK welded and soldered, hammered silver wire

The silver basket was commissioned for the Company’s travelling exhibition of 2017-18, ‘Made for the Table’. Nan Nan Liu’s work as a silversmith is exquisitely built up in graduated layers of silver, or soldered from flowing forms of silver wire, as here.

The sense of movement in this piece plays on the unpredictable forms that water can take and the emotional response it can evoke. Nan Nan took a series of photographs of moving water on which to base her design. Initially she worked by layering paper to create three-dimensional forms, then translated these into metal, building up single layers of silver in an organic manner. The basket is lovely to handle, as it rocks gently when placed on a surface, but settles into its own perfect balance.

The maker generously donated the paper model to the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection in 2020 to document the commission. The photograph below shows the maker delivering her model to the Curator at Goldsmiths’ Hall. Together, the two pieces tell us so much more than the silver alone, and the pairing will be particularly valuable both for teaching our apprentices at the Goldsmiths’ Centre and for public display.