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PRESS RELEASE Little Gems 23 March – 13 May 2015

13 Feb 2015

Little Gems showcases striking work by early career designer makers from Yorkshire Art Space outside of Sheffield for the first time

This March Galvanize Sheffield: Festival of Contemporary Metal will be showcasing Little Gems, a decade of commissioned work by 22 talented early career designer makers from Yorkshire Art Space in Sheffield, at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell from 23 March – 13 May 2015.

Rose Bowl

Little Gems brings together the collection of contemporary precious metal artworks, commissioned through the Sheffield Assay Office’s annual competition from 2005 to 2015 and created by up and coming silversmiths on the Starter Studios programme at Yorkshire Art Space. This is the first time that their collective work has been shown outside of Sheffield and alongside a new collaborative design created between young talented designer makers: Jennifer Ricketts at Yorkshire Art Space and Ben Ryan / Rupert Todd at the Goldsmiths’ Centre. Their design encapsulates the longstanding tradition of metal skills and emerging silversmith talent in Sheffield and London as well as their common early career routes based in Starter Studios.  

Little Sheffield

The exhibition includes beautifully designed and made precious metal objects, which include tableware, cake stands, cheese boards, cutlery, decanters and cups to treasure boxes. Work is presented by the following makers: Katey Felton, Paul Butler, Rebecca Lawley, Owen Waterhouse, Victoria Kershaw, Amba McNamara, Maya Selway, Victoria Delany, Sarah Denny, Rebecca Joselyn, Christina Spencer, Sarah Stevenson, Charlotte Tollyfield, Stefan Tooke, Anne Davis, Andrew Sutherland, Sally Cox, Alexander Kerrison, Zoe Watts, Colette Bishop, Sarah Pasley, Jennifer Ricketts, Ben Ryan and Rupert Todd.

Little gem

Ruth Moir, Events and Exhibitions Manager explains: “The Goldsmiths’ Centre has supported emerging design talent through mentoring and fully-equipped and subsidised Starter Studios since it opened its doors in 2012. Hosting Little Gems has given us a unique opportunity to work with Jennifer, Ben and Rupert and commission a new design piece, not only showcasing their exceptional skills but also the strong links between the two cities.”

“This display of Little Gems is priceless in terms of skills, ideas, design and vision. These elements all contribute to establishing very special craftspeople to making a career in silversmithing. I am very proud to have been involved in this unique project from the start” said Sheffield Assay Master, Ashley Carson.

Rachel Dodd from Yorkshire Artspace comments “The Little Gems commission is an incredibly valuable opportunity for our Starter Studio silversmiths who are at a relatively early stage in their career. Not only does it allow them to explore new ideas and create new work but also gain valuable experience of the application process. At the end of their two years supported by us the majority of the makers continue to work as silversmiths”. 

Sheffield Assay Office and Museums Sheffield as owners of the collection are delighted to see the objects finally exhibited and wish to thank all the partners and sponsors: Galvanize Sheffield Festival of Contemporary Metal, Sheffield Assay Office, Yorkshire Artspace, Museums Sheffield and The Goldsmiths’ Centre.

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