Excellence Made: Graham Stewart

June 25, 2018

We’ve spoken to silversmith, Graham Stewart  who features in ‘Excellence Made,’ the film by Petr Krejci commissioned specially for Goldsmiths’ Fair 2018. We found out what Graham has been working on and what it was like working with Petr.

‘My workshop is in Dunblane, Perthshire. I have worked in this building for 40 years. It’s an architecturally interesting old place close to Dunblane’s historic cathedral which helps to keep things in perspective as far as the passage of time goes.  Our home is separate from the workshop – ‘out in the sticks’ and surrounded by big skies and all manner of flora and fauna. It’s a place which opens my eyes to possibilities.

Working with Petr, Mirka and Hansa was a wonderful experience.  They are lovely people with a very fine aesthetic sense and a good understanding of the processes of construction. They showed considerable stamina having filmed in the morning in Margate they then drove 500 miles to our home.

Various landscape options for filming were suggested the following morning at breakfast.  They ventured off to the Highlands returning at midnight having filmed the remarkable Falls of Lora and many other beautiful things.

Monday morning was spent in the workshop and studio, primarily filming various stages of construction of a Barley Stook Harvest vase with lots of fire and hammers. There were shots of engraving long, slow furrows into the silver. Having improvised a temporary photo studio with the huge amount of equipment they require, they focused on the vase, a simple whiskey cup, and a ‘Wren in a Nest’ pendant. By 2:30 they were on the road again and off to see Adrian Hope.

I find that the local landscape is a big influence in my work.  The Silver Birch beaker came from a drawing considering the angle of intersection of branch to trunk on several early morning cycle runs.

My Honeycomb vase recalls childhood memories of inspecting hives with my beekeeper brother. I’ve recently finished a Question Mark teapot, from drawings made over Christmas. I like the graphic quality and I like real tea!

I am looking forward to Goldsmiths’ Fair this year and have several new pieces to exhibit. My jewellery pieces will feature swallows, clouds, wrens, arctic terns and a tiny blue and green planet in 18ct gold. I also made a communion cup for Dunblane Cathedral which now sits in the company of one made in 1685. I’m hoping to bring that one or one like it to the Fair.

Huge thanks to the Goldsmiths’ team for bringing their collective skills to this project.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the film.  The visit from the film crew was definitely an enriching experience.’

See Graham’s exhibitor profile here.

Find Graham Week one, stand 31 of Goldsmiths’ Fair.

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