3x fully-funded silversmithing graduate scholarships announced


2023 Silversmithing Graduate Scholarships Announced

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Following the success of their 2021-22 programme, the Trustees of the South House Workshop Trust are delighted to announce three fully-funded silversmithing graduate scholarships for 2022-23. These residential scholarships are designed to accelerate the professional careers of promising silversmiths through four months of intensive workshop-based skills training. This year’s scholarships have been awarded to silversmiths Sheng Zhang, Karen Westland and Alice Fry.

The scholarships will give the silversmiths the opportunity to learn a variety of professional silversmithing skills in intensive residential placements with leading silversmiths Rod Kelly, Brett Payne, Angus McFadyen and Chris Perry. Each scholar will be placed for a total of two months with one maker and a further two months with another. The course will cover in detail: raising, chasing, engraving, soldering, forging, hinge-making and hammer work along with discussions about design, marketing and selling.

The South House Workshop Trust was established in 2013 by master silversmith Rod Kelly (MA RCA). The main focus of the Charity’s artistic and creative activity is to provide intensive professional training to emerging and established makers. This programme has been made possible by the generous support of Argex Ltd, The Clothworkers’ Company, The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, The Pearson Foundation, The Radcliffe Trust, The South House Silver Workshop Trust, The South Square Trust, The Saunders Family, The Weavers’ Company and other anonymous donors.

“These scholarships are having a profound effect on those that have been fortunate enough to receive an award. Nowhere in the UK can you train for four months with a master silversmith, receive guidance, training, mentoring and support and be taught in such an intense and meaningful way. The new techniques and skills that the scholars will learn will give them a wonderful technical foundation that will put them in good stead to go on and achieve great things as well as acting as ambassadors for the craft and hopefully they will also go on to teach the next generation of silversmiths. I am very excited to see what this talented group will achieve over the next few months and congratulate them all. I also want to thank all of our generous sponsors and supporters without whom these scholarships would not be possible ”
- Rod Kelly

Alice Fry

Alice graduated in 2020 from The Glasgow School of Art with a first in BA(Hons) Silversmithing and Jewellery Design, before going on to train at the prestigious Bishopsland Educational Trust (2020-2021).

Alice has exhibited at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, Goldsmiths’ Fair in London, and at ‘MAD About Jewlry’ in New York. Alice has won several awards at The Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards, as well as the Contemporary British Silversmiths’ Industry Award. Alice’s work is inspired by the chaotic beauty of mineral specimens, organic rocks, and geometric crystals. She specialises in the metal niobium and is one of the only makers in the UK using this refractory metal.

“I aspire to devote the rest of my career to become a master at silversmithing. In order to do this, I need intensive one-to-one tutoring to help me develop larger-scale work at the high quality that I strive for. During this scholarship, I would like to learn and perfect raising, large-scale soldering, and find a way to cold-connect niobium to silver by learning engineering techniques such as tap and die.”

Karen Westland

Karen Westland is a silversmith based in Glasgow who makes luxury silver items inspired by optics, photonics and the relationship we have with the universe. With a strong interest in ethical making, Karen also strives for a more responsible silver craft practice. She graduated from the Glasgow School or Art in 2015, is a Bishopsland fellow and recently completed their interdisciplinary doctoral research in physics and craft. Karen is programme manager for Ethical Making at The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust and tutors at universities across Scotland.

"I believe my time with master silversmiths Rod Kelly and Brett Payne will help me find a balance of making both to a high standard and efficiently to support my silversmithing aspirations."

Sheng Zhang

Sheng Zhang is a UK based contemporary jewellery and silversmithing designer maker. He graduated from an MFA Jewellery course at the Edinburgh College of Art, having previously studied at the School of Jewellery Birmingham City University and China University of Geosciences (Wuhan). Sheng has won multiple prestigious awards for his work, including Young Professional Award given by Netherlands Silver Museum, Silver Award from The Goldsmiths' Crafts and Design Council and New Designers Silversmithing Award from The Goldsmiths’ Company. His work is exhibited internationally and is included in the permanent collections of Victoria and Albert Museum and The Goldsmiths’ Company. Sheng has worked on commissions for both individual clients and establishments including Rolls-Royce & Partners Finance.

"My aspiration for the future is running a successful silversmithing business along with producing wearable jewellery pieces as supplement of my business where necessary. Keep making sculptural style functional and decorative centre pieces with full of artistic and commercial value. Expanding the possibilities of my existing market of clientele and where the work can be seen."

The South House Silver Workshop Trust

The South House Silver Workshop Trust [Reg Charity No 1151646] was set up in 2013 by master silversmith Rod Kelly (MA RCA). The main focus of the Charity’s artistic and creative activity is to provide intensive training to emerging and established makers in uniquely placed and fully equipped workshops in Shetland. The Charity’s objects are exclusively charitable according to the laws of England and Wales. In particular, the provision of vocational training in the fine and applied arts and need and assistance in the establishment of such persons as craftsmen.


Rebecca van Rooijen


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