Dining out on design at new Made for the Table exhibition


Dining out on design at new Made for the Table exhibition

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Made for the Table offers visitors to the Goldsmiths Centre this summer an extravagant feast in more ways than one.

At the centre of this new silverware exhibition, which opens on July 13th and runs until August 31st is a modern day table dressed for dinner featuring newly comissioned silverware, by leading makers such as Michael Lloyd, Malcolm Appleby, Jane Short, Angela Cork and Miriam Hanid showcasing contemporary cultures and new silversmithing technogies.

A treasure trove of modern items from cutlery and beakers to candlesticks is set in stark contrast alongside some of the Goldsmiths' Company most prized 'ancient' items from its stunning silver collection acquired over five centuries which tells the story of silversmithing through the ages.

Arranged in four themes - flavour, light, dine and drink - from functioning silverware to
illuminate the table to pieces for ceremonial use, the displays together serve to illustrate the evolution of of tableware from the 1600s to today.

What is clear from the exhibition are the massive changes in dining habits yet some techniques, in handcrafting items for dining remain the same. For instance,  contemporary silversmith Rebecca De Quin uses hand-forging techniques in her cutlery that were employed by makers on display dating from 1627.

The contrasts and comparisons in dining ware design through the ages are stark and fascinating from 16th century ornate salt cellars to Adi Toch’s Pinch of Salt bowl made in 2010, a comment on precious commodities throughout history.

In total, 70 items have been placed on display while Adi Toch and Rebecca de Quin are among 37 leading UK makers to be featured in an additional exhibition running alongside in the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Atrium which exemplify the best in contemporary tableware.

Twenty beakers were also commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Centre especially for the show and are available to buy. Each silversmith created their own unique design in response to a brief demonstrating 'old and new'. The gin-making process and sunrise and sunset were among the many exotic inspirations that were used in the design of the beakers .

   Selection of the unique new beaker designs specially commissioned for Made for the Table

“Made for the Table is truly a celebration of techniques, inspiration, and exquisite craftsmanship," said Georgia Powell, Assistant Curator of the Goldsmiths’ Company.

"It reflects the Goldsmiths’ Company’s unique and continued patronage of domestic pieces made to be used and enjoyed. By drawing comparisons between historic and contemporary pieces, the exhibition helps contextualise the outstanding work of makers working in Britain today.”


Kate Laven


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