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Sheffield Assay Office welcomes one of China's most celebrated metalworkers!

15 Mar 2019

  

Assay Master Ashley Carson and Sheffield Assay Office staff were delighted to welcome Li Fuming one of China's most celebrated metalworkers. He founded Li Xiaobai Studio in 2008, since the companies establishment, Li Xiaobai Yinhu Studio has become one of the leading pure handmade silver production studios in China. 

Adhering to the vision of "inheriting and innovating folk traditional crafts, and cultivating arts and crafts artists", the studio has won many awards including the Star of 2017 International Intangible-Heritage Festival craftsmen, the title of "Song of builders" handicraft in Yunnan Province in 2017, "Golden Camellia Design Competition" Silver Prize in 2018.
 
In 2010, Li Xiaobai silver pot studio successfully produced the first "one sheet" silver teapot with ancient techniques, breaking through the handmade technology of "one sheet" silver teapot which has been monopolised by the Japanese silver processing industry for hundreds of years. In 2013, after years of research and improvement, the Li Xiaobaiyin teapot studio successfully restored the inlaying technology of different metal materials, known as Jinyinchuo, and won 26 national patents. In November 2017, Yunnan Cultural Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Yunnan Art University, Dali Prefecture Government and Li Xiaobai Studio signed a cooperation agreement establishing the Dali Traditional Craft Workstation-Heqing Base with Li Xiaobai Studio themselves investing 14 million RMB (£1.5m) into this new base. The workstation will actively explore the modern application of traditional crafts, and realise the academic research of traditional crafts, heritage and development.

Li Fuming was joined by his wife Qiongyan Wang, Maria Hanson a Reader in Metalwork and Jewellery on the MA Design Course, Chris Knight Senior Lecturer in Jewellery and Metalwork and Postgraduate students on the MA Design Course from Sheffield Hallam University.  

Assay Master, Ashley Carson welcomed the visitors to the office and Emma Paragreen Curator, Librarian and Archivist presented the history and work of the Sheffield Assay Office, expertly translated into Chinese by Molly. The group then took a tour of the premises to witness the assaying and hallmarking of articles of precious metal. Li Fuming brought one of his hand raised tea bowls and it was tested using x-ray fluorescence, he was pleased to see that it was fine silver.

Li Fuming and his wife Qiongyan Wang thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the Sheffield Assay office. Fuming said :

“I was honored to meet the Master of the Sheffield Assay Office and to know about the history. Thank you for sharing and showing some great work in your collection. You are most welcome to visit the Dali Intangible Cultural Heritage station in Yunnan”

Maria Hanson and Chris Knight were delighted to introduce Master Li Fuming to the importance of the Sheffield Assay office. A place that celebrates and upholds traditional and contemporary precious metalwork and jewellery practice in the UK. Our postgraduate students who visited with us gained valuable insight and understanding about the work of the office and were inspired to see the contemporary works in the collection.

Before the group departed Li Fuming presented Assay Master, Ashley Carson with a hand forged fine silver spoon, designed and made by Li, the Assay Master responded “Thank you for my amazing gift. This will go in pride of place in the office

 

 

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