- Week One: Monday 23 to Sunday 29 September. (closed Monday 30 Sept.)
- Week Two: Tuesday 1 to Sunday 6 October
- At Goldsmiths’ Hall, London
- Admission by catalogue – at door £10 for 1 week – £15 for 2 weeks
Goldsmiths’ Fair is Europe’s largest and most prestigious selling exhibition of jewellery, silver and precious objects by leading and up-coming jewellers and silversmiths. Now in its 31st year, this annual event is loved and enjoyed not just by the designer-makers who exhibit, but by the thousands of people who visit each year.
Its enduring popularity is due to the fact that the Fair is all about originality and individuality. Each of the designer-makers is an artist; they don’t slavishly follow fashion or pander to trends. What matters to them?
is expressing their own unique creativity and making beautiful pieces – be it jewellery or silver for the home. The Fair represents the antithesis of mass-production. Instead talent, artistry and craftsmanship abound and every individual style, personality or preference can be accommodated be it classic or modern, bold or demure.
Be tempted by delicate or dramatic necklaces, chandelier earrings which dangle alluringly, delicious rings in sorbet colours, engagement rings to fall in love with, cufflinks and macho jewellery for the boys, delightful charm bracelets for the girls and a dazzling array of stunning silverware for the table or simply to decorate and enhance the modern interior. The choice is endless! Prices start from £60 to £16,000 so all budgets are catered for and with Christmas not far off the Fair is ideally timed for early Christmas shopping!
The exhibitors are all selected by the Goldsmiths’ Company and every piece on sale bears a hallmark, the earliest form of consumer protection. Designer-makers from remote parts of the country will forsake their small workshops bringing with them their latest collections. There are 90 designers present each week providing the perfect opportunity to buy stunning jewellery and silver direct from the makers themselves. It is also fascinating finding out how pieces are made and what inspires them. In addition commissioning bespoke pieces and having an input in the design process is hugely satisfying.
This year there is an exciting line-up of new exhibitors, notably jewellers Robinson Pelham who will be launching their vibrant and dazzling Elystan Collection. Then there is jewellery duo Luke Shimmell and Emma Madden’s whose debut fine collection entitled ‘Symmetry’ is inspired by ancient architecture and classic mathematics and each stone used has been selected for its perfect proportions and precision cutting.
Renowned jeweller Hannah Martin also makes her first appearance at Goldsmiths’ Fair with her timeless but distinctly modern jewellery inspired by narrative. Her ‘Delirium’ ring for example pays homage to ‘The Comte de St. Germain’, an enduring character who possessed the elixir of life. Also new to the Fair is Japanese jeweller Junko Hirai whose jewellery expresses her love of nature, clearly evident in her beautifully observed and slightly quirky creations. Likewise Janet Barber’s ‘Mahonia’ earrings and necklace reveal the artist’s fascination with the natural world. Another Japanese born jeweller Maiko Nagayama uses bright coloured stones in striking juxtapositions in her bold, essentially abstract designs, while Jo McDonald effectively combines pure white, smooth British glacier porcelain in conjunction with precious metals with exciting results.
In the silversmithing category first-time exhibitors include Rebecca de Quin, whose latest collection has been designed to encourage an informal use, display and enjoyment of contemporary tableware, and Philip Kydd who has done commissions for a long list of distinguished patrons. Philip’s new range of ‘Radiance’ bowls, reflect his fascination with the sea and he successfully captures its ebb and flow through his subtle use of texture and reflections. Another new silversmith Mark Andrew Powell uses techniques such as fusion to produce his delicate sculptural pieces.
Silver’s long association with dining continues today and the Fair is the perfect place to find sleek, modern silver designed to complement 21st century living. Look at Victoria Walker’s simple but stylish silver cheese cutters on a slate board, or Andrew McGowan’s fabulous wooden salad bowl on a silver bamboo legs with silver salad servers, while Vicki Ambery-Smith delightful condiment boxes based on French pigeonnier will add delight to any table. Will Odell’s experience working in the wine industry in the heart of Burgundy has inspired his luxurious collection of drinking vessels and wine related products while Charlotte Tollyfield meantime has up-dated the classic silver tea pot. Susan Beale’s new collection ‘And So to Tea’ celebrates the English love of this national drink and her silver cake stand works beautifully with Brett Payne’s silver cake slice.
As always Goldsmiths’ Fair promotes exciting new talent with its graduate bursary scheme and this year 10 new recent graduates will be making their debut at the Fair. Among them are jewellers Merlin Planterose, Victoria Walker, Heather Woof, De Anna Kiernan and Amy Logan and silversmiths Rebecca Hill, Colette Bishop, Aoife White, Kate Earlam and Shaun Grace. Both Kate and Shaun were recent Goldsmiths’ Company Young Designer Silversmith winners and have pieces in national museums. Although all of them are still under 30 they have been singled out for the originality of their work and their craftsmanship.
Goldsmiths’ Fair is a must for anyone who has an eye for the unique and original and who appreciates quality and sophistication in terms of both innovative design and skills. The Fair takes place in the magnificent gilded setting of Goldsmiths’ Hall itself a Grade I architectural jewel in the City of London.