The Goldsmiths’ Company Pavilion, which runs from June 26 to Saturday June 29, is now firmly established in the calendar as one of London’s most exciting and inspirational events of the summer season.
It is both an exhibition where you can admire great contemporary designs in the fields of jewellery, silver and furniture, as well as a fabulous retail opportunity. All the works are for sale, added to which not only do you get see great works close up, you also have the chance to meet and talk to the creative minds of the skilled craftsmen behind them. You can even commission something totally bespoke and tailor-made to suit your needs and budget!
Historic Somerset House on the Strand provides the convenient, central location complete with great restaurants and views of the Thames, while its elegant 18th Century rooms offer the perfect back-drop to cutting-edge contemporary design.
The season’s vibrant colours will be reflected in the dazzling designs of some of the country’s leading jewellers – the perfect excuse to liven up your summer wardrobe. For example jeweller Lilly Hastedt has added a new range of cabochon trio rings to her collection. Each one is set with a colourful mix of gemstones from candy pinks, hot reds through to cool greens and azure blues. Perfect for work or play!
Then there is plenty to team up with vintage-style floral tea dresses – take a look at Beth Gilmore’s delicate lace-like creations or Regina Aradesian’s exquisite enamel jewellery.
Raising the tempo a pair of Ingo Henn’s drop earrings set with stunning gem-stones, selected for the intensity of their colour and perfection, will transport you straight onto the red carpet, and make you feel like a Hollywood “A” lister! So will Jon Dibben’s gorgeous “Meadow Collar” necklace made in 18 carat Fairtrade and Fairmined ecological white gold and set with individually sourced hand carved beryls, cabochon aquamarines, sea-green tourmalines, yellow beryls and traceable white diamonds. A veritable labour of love it took Jon five years to complete this sublime piece.
But if a more relaxed, casual environment is more your scene – you can still add a touch of glamour with understated rings by Ruth Tomlinson, chunky silver by Sarah Herriott or keep it simple with one of Ute Decker’s dramatic, sculptural bracelets.
Holidays are also the perfect occasion to be adventurous and try out slightly-more cutting edge jewellery – jewellery which pushes the boundaries in terms of technique, design, and mixed media. This adds a further dimension and blurs the distinction between precious and purely decorative. Goldsmiths’ Pavilion offers plenty of exciting jewellery in this category.
Among the leading enamellists taking part are Alexandra Raphael, Fred Rich and Rachel Emmerson. Their mastery of this exacting technique is breath-taking and their jewellery, each with their distinctive artistic style, is dazzling in its range of colours and subtleties of gradation and tone.
A relatively new rising star on the jewellery scene is Jig Pattni. His jewellery is not only made to exacting standards but combines a sensitivity and edginess that makes it ultra-modern. An element of playful humour is also in evidence for example in his collection that pays homage to Elvis Presley.
Stunning silver works of art made by inspirational contemporary silversmiths are another important feature of the Goldsmiths’ Pavilion. Think ahead to long summer evenings with dinners on the terrace, your table enhanced with silver accessories designed to serve both a practical purpose as well filling an aesthetic role. Silversmith Abigail Brown for example specialises in hammer forming technique to produce her stylish silver which is feminine, unique, and gracefully sculptural, while Ryan McClean uses form and texture in his distinctive pieces inspired by the natural world.
An additional exciting dimension to Goldsmiths’ Pavilion is the inclusion of sleek pieces of modern hand-made British furniture crafted by master furniture-makers in association with the Worshipful Company of Furniture makers. Like every craft, furniture can be customised to your desires and the specifications of your home. For example Martin Lane’s elegant in-laid marquetry cabinet and Edward Johnson’s petal shaped table would grace and enhance any interior, be it traditional or modern – and look all the better combined with contemporary silver. Or why not commission a furniture-maker to design a bespoke jewellery box for your jewel collection.
The Goldsmiths’ Pavilion is a true celebration of British talent and craftsmanship in three diverse yet complementary and equally challenging crafts. Whatever else is in your diary this summer, be sure not to miss it!
Admission: £5 per person. Opening times – Wednesday to Friday 11.00am to 6.30pm, Saturday 10.00am to 6.00pm