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Silver Anniversary commission for the Assay Master

04 May 2018

2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Assay Master, Mr Ashley CarsonTo mark the occasion and as a gift to the Assay Master from the Assay OfficeExecutive Committee and Guardians’ a drinking vessel is to be produced, a commissioned a piece of silverware specifically designed and made by a Sheffield silversmith and hallmarked at Sheffield Assay Office.

Earlier in the year a brief was drawn up for the commission and circulated to the silversmithing community of the Sheffield. The Assay Master was to select his favourite design. Not an easy task, as the there were many entries to choose from and all worthy of being made.

The Assay Master was delighted by the response to the commission, all the applicant's designs were at an extremely high standard  But one particular design was just right for the occasion, a design by Kurt Calow. The Assay Master said the piece showed great design, made of mixed metals, he said: “I liked everything about it, it’s very Sheffield .

 

Kurt’s work had been spotted back in 2016 by the Assay Master when he was awarded the Assay Master’s Award for Excellence at Sheffield Hallam University for his final year BA Jewellery and Metalwork degree work. Later that year Kurt was also awarded the J G Graves Civic Commission in association with The Lord Mayor’s Office and Sheffield Assay Office.  A wonderful monumental chalice was created from mixed metal. More recently Kurt has been working at British Silverware Limited and working on collaborative exhibitions with 5 other apprentices trained craftsmen in Sheffield under the title Masterclass

So what has Kurt got in store for this particular commission? The selected design is a contemporary take on a goblet/ wine vessel, with an air of antiquity and strong withstanding of medieval silverware. Kurt explained that its key features denote Sheffield’strong heritage of silverware and steel work, highlighted by the feature of the rose and the iron/ steel centre component within the foot. The majority of the piece will be made in Sterling/ Britannia silver with constituents of gold plate and iron /steel. The rose features around the vessel as a contemporary take on traditional floral cutwork upon hollowware. The petals individually hand forged from sterling silver and soldered to the vessel in a naturalistic way, as if growing from the piece. The cup will be hand raisedtextured and plannished with a gilt interior. 

The iron and steel feature running through the centre of the foot functions as a support and weight for the piece. It signifies the material’s importance to the cities heritage; the strength of the centre (the heart) of the piece, (the essence that gave Sheffield its name).  The feature will be seen through the saw piercing pattern in the foot. 

 

On obtaining the commission Kurt said It is a real honour and privilege to have been picked to do this commission; I am thrilled. I am very excited to be making the article and to see the finished piece’.

So in the coming months, Kurt will be busy working away to produce this special commission. The piece will be revealed/unveiled to the Assay Master in October at a special dinner to celebrate his 25th anniversary and on the night will raise a glass to make a toast using his new goblet. The piece will then be gifted to the Sheffield Assay Office collection adding to the collection that was first established back in 1906. The piece will be a fitting addition to the collection of the first piece by Kurt Calow, made of mixed metal and hallmarked in Sheffield. 

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JG Graves Commission Kurt Calow - http://www.assayoffice.co.uk/latest-news-and-press/j-g-graves-graduate-commission-2016

Mester Class Kurt Calow - http://nowthenmagazine.com/sheffield/issue-115/mester-class/

For Further details please contact Ashley Carson/ Emma Paragreen  01142312121  email carsona@assayoffice.co.uk or paragreene@assayoffice.co.uk

 

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