Week Two: Best New Design Award Winner

In Week Two of the Fair, we congratulated silversmith and first-time Fair exhibitor, Claire Malet, on winning Best New Design. We spoke with Claire and Crafts Council Patron Jacqueline Gestetner, who awarded the accolade, to find out more about ‘Sylvan Relic’ and why it was so deserving of this distinguished prize. ‘It was a total surprise to hear that I had won the award, especially as a first timer at the Fair. It’s a real lift in particular to know that Jacqueline Gestetner really understands and appreciates what I am trying to achieve in my work. I feel encouraged!’ Untitled-2 ‘My inspiration for the piece is the relationship between the natural world and the resources that we take from it. The sculptural piece is entitled ‘Sylvan Relic. My aim was to celebrate and draw attention to something as simple, beautiful and raw as bark lying on the woodland floor. It’s briefly a relic, before it is absorbed into the environment, from where we source vital and beautiful materials that we need or desire. The work was based on some pieces of bark which had caught my eye as being particularly beautiful forms. I started with a flat sheet of 1.2mm 925 Eco Silver, firstly sketching and then cutting a rough shape.’ ‘The piece was formed through raising and sinking and was textured with chasing tools. The final details of the shape and edge were intuitively worked with various hand tools. The piece was depletion gilded and finally hand burnished. I truly found my first Goldsmiths’ Fair to be a very valuable experience. It was great to receive such positive feedback about my work and I met some fantastic clients. I was also delighted to receive the award!’ best-new-design-claire-piece   ‘Sylvan Relic’ by Claire Malet Jacqueline Gestetner on Claire: ‘What intrigued me was Claire’s move from non-precious metals to silver, inspired by her mentor, the late Pamela Rawnsley. I had bought a piece of Claire’s several years ago; a small, beautiful vessel in gilded metals. She has since progressed to working in a quite different way in her silver pieces. The textures on ‘Sylvan Relic’ were extremely beautiful and worked perfectly with the shapes she evolved. Claire’s work showed great thought and imagination. I hope she will go from strength to strength in her career.’  

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