Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Adrian Ward

Adrian is from Australia where he completed an Associate Diploma in Arts (Jewellery Design) and a silversmith apprenticeship. He has worked as a professional commercial silversmith in for over twenty years Australia, in the UK and Finland.

Exhibitions:

2020 - 

February - GC&DC Awards, Goldsmith’s Hall, London, UK.

(3 piece Tea Set, collaboration with Yujia Gao)

January - 2019 GC&DC Awards Retrospective, Goldsmith’s Centre, London,UK. (Utopia)

2019 - 

September - GC&DC Stand, IJL, Kensington Olympia, London,UK. (Utopia)

August - 19th Silver Triennial, Goldschmeidhaus, Hanau, Germany. (a dying trade)

May - Metalmorphosis, Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, Battersea, London, UK.

February - GC&DC Awards, Goldsmith’s Hall, London, UK.

(2 award winning entries)

2011 - Forum Silversmiths, Inhorgenta, Munich, Germany.

2010 - Kätkö (Hoard), Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna, Finland.

2006 - GC&DC Awards, Goldsmith’s Hall, London, UK.

Awards:

2019 - GC&DC Awards, Goldsmith’s Hall, London, UK.

Gold Award – Silversmiths, Senior, Special Council Award.

Silver Award – Silversmiths, 3D Design.

Contact

adrian.ward@network.rca.ac.uk

www.awardsilver.com

Instagram: @awardsilver

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

      I came to RCA to develop my conceptual thinking and to consider how to place my work in a context outside the commercial world. For me, the challenge has been to learn a completely new way of thinking about silversmithing, using research to develop concepts and designs within a clearly defined context to help me express my interests and influences, and to introduce narrative themes more explicitly than I have in the past. 

While it has been quite challenging at times, I have enjoyed this new way of working. The research I undertook for my dissertation was especially rewarding in the way one topic leads to a deeper topic and so on until unexpected areas are uncovered seemingly unrelated but extremely relevant to the original question. Tracing the connections between these disparate topics and exploring how they affect one another in relation to the original research question has been absorbing and inspired me to continue studying.

I plan to expand this historically inspired contextual research-led concept and design development by undertaking a practice-based PhD at the RCA. 

rEvolution — The book of the project

A book of the project from start to finish explaining concept, context and how it was done.

Medium:

Book

Size:

160 pages
change
evolution
History
Memory
metal
Narrative
Recycle
repetition
reuse
Revolution
silver
silversmith

rEvolution-1 — Inspired by the ‘Corieltavi Bowl’, an approximately 2000 year old Iron age Celtic bowl excavated in Hallaton, Leicestershire. 925 Silver, 18cm x 17.5cm x 9cm.

rEvolution-2 — Inspired by Roman ‘fluted’ bowls from the 2nd-4th centuries AD. 925 Silver, 23cm x 24cm x 6.5cm.

rEvolution-3 — Inspired by Greek ‘Kylix’ drinking vessels from the 3rd – 4th century BC. 925 Silver, 35.5cm x 22cm x 10cm.

rEvolution-4 — Inspired by Rococo style (c.1750) blending into Art Nouveau (c.1890). 925 Silver, 41cm x 24cm x 6.5cm.

rEvolution-5 — Inspired by a blend of Art Deco and Futurism. Created purely as a digital 3D model in Rhino, photo-rendered for the portfolio, and 3D printed as a resin model. Resin, 34.5cm x 24cm x 22cm (with lid in place).

rEvolution-6 — The final bowl in the series, has also been created as a 3D Rhino model and photo-rendered. The model and rendering are only indicative of an estimated result for the process. The actual bowl would not be as smooth and even as the rendering. There were no stylistic influences from history in this bowl. Not made, approximate dimensions: 30cm x 30cm x 7.5cm.

rEvolution-1 — Resin copy.

rEvolution-2 — Resin copy.

rEvolution-3 — Resin copy.

rEvolution-5 — Resin Model.

My MA dissertation on ‘The Decline of Silversmithing as a Trade and its Ascent as an Artform’, examining the change in the industry from mass produced ‘traditional’ items to handcrafted studio silver, involved quite a lot of research into the history of silversmithing.
This made me realise that most of the antique silverware in Museums is not there because it has been passed down through the generations but because it has been dug up by archaeologists. Almost all of the silverware ever produced has been melted down. This has been due to theft, war, taxes, realising the inherent monetary value, or just to change the item to a newer style. ‘New’ silver sheet bought today is mostly recycled from scrap, not made from newly mined silver.
rEvolution is essentially about the life of the material, not the objects. I obtained old pieces of silver, mostly items not used any more, such as the pocket watch and cigar cases, as job lots of scrap silver from eBay. I researched the hallmarks on them, so I know who made them, and when and where they were assayed. I melted them down to make new sheet material which I am using to produce a series of bowls. These bowls will reflect different styles and techniques used in the history of silver, each bowl becoming more complex by adding new techniques and elements as the series progresses.
Each bowl in the series was cut apart and melted down to make the sheet to make the next bowl in the series. Before destruction each was hallmarked by The London Assay Office, creating an official record of the work, and 3D scanned to reproduce in resin a ‘ghost’ of the destroyed bowl. I have retained the small sections with the hallmarks from each silver bowl so far destroyed.

Medium:

925 Silver, Resin

Size:

Various

a dying trade

a dying trade

a dying trade

Research into the dramatic collapse in the mass production silver industry in the late twentieth century inspired this piece, a 'dying' teapot. It was the first purely conceptual work I have ever done, and it was an interesting challenge to create. It was made directly into this distorted form; if I had tried to take an existing teapot and deform it to this shape it would have looked ‘damaged’, rather than as if it was expiring from natural causes.

Winner, Silver Award – Silversmiths, 3D Design. 2019 GC&DC Awards, Goldsmith’s Hall, London, UK.

Currently on display, 19th Silver Triennial Exhibition, Goldschmeidhaus, Hanau, Germany.

Medium:

925 Silver, wood

Size:

32cm x 26.5cm x 11.5cm.

Utopia — A bucket and spade to build sandcastles at the beach.

Utopia

Utopia

Sandcastle made with the bucket and spade.

For the first project on starting in Jewellery and Metal at the RCA we were given the design brief to design tools for Utopia. After several rejected ideas I started thinking about the meaning of utopia, a place where everything is perfect, and times in my life when I had felt that way. A day at the beach when I was a child, with a bucket and spade, represented this ideal perfectly. The design was influenced by Gothic, Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture, especially the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.

Winner, Gold Award – Silversmiths, Senior, Special Council Award, 2019 GC&DC Awards, Goldsmith’s Hall, London, UK.

Medium:

925 Silver

Size:

Bucket: 16cm x 16cm x 15cm. Spade: 26.5cm x 6cm x 2.5cm.
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