Healthy outlook after successful Goldsmith Fair 2017 Week One


Healthy outlook for Goldsmiths Fair 2017

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The enterprising ​organisers of this year’s Goldsmith Fair have pulled out all the stops to make sure Britain’s most successful designers of precious metal jewellery and contemporary silver have been given the strongest platform possible to promote and develop their trades.

There is no shortage of shine and shimmer from the moment you enter the opulent Goldsmith’s Hall and the immediate impression is inevitably one of wealth and success. Gold leaf on the ceilings, champagne in the bars and the finest silver flashing luxuriously across display cabinets.

Only time will tell whether all that glitters turns out to be gold but to a goggle-eyed greenhorn, the Goldsmith’s effect is dazzling and organisers Goldsmith Company said sales had been healthy.

“Week One of the Fair was very successful both in terms of number of visitors and sales,” said David Mills, Director of Communications and Marketing.  

“Week Two is already up in comparison to Week one at this point. At least one exhibitor sold in excess of £150,000 worth of stock in Week One.  It’s too early to say if that was an outlier or an indication of a general rise overall. 

 “As for trends – the more contemporary work is selling well.  The prominence of contemporary silver in the media seems to have stoked an appetite among the general public and silversmiths at the Fair are benefitting.  

“Yellow gold is selling well whereas white and rose gold seem to have receded to a degree.  Coloured gemstones – from bold colours to the more subtle watery hues – are also doing well.”

Spectacular earrings from Shivani Patel

In 2017, there were 63 display cabinets in Week One and another 63 in Week Two representing the 128 leading craftsmen and women in Britain at this moment in time. This has been streamlined from previous years to enable a re-drawing of the exhibition to make it appear less congested, more sophisticated. 

Some exhibitors have been before but have freshened up their ideas and collections to make sure they pass muster, to match the standards set by the panel of Goldsmiths’ Company experts who vet and select applications for berths.

Ten of the exhibitors are complete newbies, identifiable by their passion and verve and the exotic concepts that have won them their places. It is this exciting young talent that many of the 10,000  high-end spenders and international collectors who attend each year, come to check out.

Spread over 12 days, this averages out at little under 850 visitors a day which doesn’t sound like many but these visitors are rarely time-wasters. These are investors and aficionados who can make or break a young career with one large purchase or a major commission. 

In Week One, Jonathan Boyd’s stand was one of the busiest, attracting plenty of attention after he won the Best New Design Award for Week One exhibitors. His award was for Weeds, comprising 60 gold-plated silver brooches chronicling the life cycle of a flower.  Stand out exhibit. A previous award landed him a contract to make all the medals for the Commonwealth Games in his home city of Glasgow which demonstrates the power of a Goldsmith’s promotion. 

Runner up was his close chum Andrew Lamb, another talented Scot  who layers and winds and twists 18ct gold and silver wire to create exquisite designs that appear to change form and colour depending on light and angle. His collection was called Lenticular Series and is a highlight of the show.

Everyone has their own favourites but for this Benchpeg reporter, Ute Decker’s simple curly-wurly sculpture caught the eye and former Goldsmith’s Company award winner Shivani Patel was once again pioneering some bold brutalist architecture with her new range:  minimalist, gold with a soft finish, golden beryl and designed for people with an eye for detail.

Tomasz Donocikc’s Stellar collection, inspired by the geometric paintings of Abstract artist Frank Stella, marks his sixth year of exhibiting at Goldsmiths Fair. His range uses Mozambique ruby, white diamonds and white agate and pink opal and the effect is truly stunning. 

“Our success at the show depends on how fortunate we are in terms of which of our clients come along but so far so good, we do very well,” he said.


Kate Laven


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