For Immediate Release (July 7, 2001)
SAS Artisan William Frederick Receives 2001 Silversmith's Lifetime Achievement Award
The Society of American Silversmiths (SAS) is excited to announce its second recipient of The Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith's Award, the most prestigious award in the field. SAS Artisan William Frederick, 79, of Chicago, Illinois, was honored at SilverWorksIIIthe Society's annual silversmithing demonstration event held in Chepachet, Rhode Island.
Frederick was chosen from nominations sent to this year's selection committee: Bernard Bernstein, SAS Artisan; Harold Schremmer, SAS Artisan and the 2000 award winner; Munya Avigail Upin, SAS Artisan; and advisor Jeffrey Herman, SAS Executive Director.
Harold Schremmer, the 2000 award winner and member of the 2001 selection committee: "After three days of looking over the extensive collection of photos and other information in the SAS archives, I am content that a comprehensive search has been made comparing the work of many eligible silversmiths for the 2001 Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmithing Award.
William Frederick most admirably meets every criteria.
After hours of comparing one silversmith to another-and there are certainly at least six who deserved the very closest scrutiny-I finally concentrating on this smaller number of the truly gifted. I then waited another week and returned to the SAS archives twice to again review this selected group.
I was overwhelmed by the extraordinary number of consistently high quality pieces created over the years by Bill Frederick. He has been a self-employed silversmith doing creative, innovative pieces. I think Bill Frederick represents the best of what the SAS was originally founded to accomplish-to recognize and encourage those who have worked all their lives, initially without publicity, academic honors or fame, but rather persistently striving to develop and excel in their work.
As a returning veteran, Bill was at a loss as to what he could or should do. Choosing silversmithing as his livelihood, his years of engineering study would prove to be of tremendous importance.
Bill's design and problem solving mastery are even more astounding when you realize the extensive range and number of these unique pieces he has created. He has worked with a surprising variety of materials and techniques, each perfectly suited to the unique demands of the particular commission. Bill Frederick's creative efforts span from elaborate ecclesiastic silver, to tea sets, maces for universities, trophies, and candle holders just to name a few. Each of these challenges was accomplished with his own individual vitality and force of character."
Jeffrey Herman, SAS Executive Director and advisor to the 2001 selection committee: "William Frederick may be one of the least known silversmiths in the country. He hasn't taught in 25 years, doesn't show his work in galleries or craft shows, and has a two-page resume. Bill is a professional silversmith.
He has been an Artisan member of SAS since its inception in 1989, and he continually impresses me with not only his work, but also his work ethic. Unlike many silversmiths who prefer to only produce their own designs, Bill also accepts many projects without question. If a customer comes to him with very specific needs, even blueprints of designs that are not quite his aesthetic, his pride won't stop him from producing that piece. He caters to his customers, and word spreads quickly. This is why Bill has always been busy, sometimes overwhelmed.
He is a designer and maker of utilitarian silver; objects that can actually be used and not just displayed in a glass case. His pieces are heavy and made to last for generations. Very few silversmiths invite the difficult task of making reproductions-it's simply another service to his customers. His work has always been in high demand by the church and collectors who appreciate not only his skill as a silversmith, but also Bill's reputation for getting their jobs out on time.
This is what has made this 79-year-old so successful in his 45 years as a silversmith. I have known William Frederick since 1989. We talk on a regular basis about the struggles of being a silversmith in the computer age and his backlog of commissions. SAS maintains 160 slides of his work in silver, a very small number of his total output. No, his work won't be found in every major museum, or in major craft magazines, nor does he care. He has no ego and his unassuming demeanor has always impressed me. From orate jewelry to the most technically difficult holloware, Bill continues to challenge himself He has created more objects than any silversmith I know, and he perseveres at a fever pitch, even at 79.
William Frederick is the epitome of a professional silversmith, someone aspiring students and other professionals could learn a great deal from. He truly deserves a lifetime achievement award."
Frederick's complete biography and selected sterling objects he created can be seen on the Society's Web site at http://www.silversmithing.com, where you will also find information on Hans Christensen.
About the Award
The award is named after the late Hans Christensen, silversmith at Georg Jensen Silversmithy in Denmark, and Professor of Silversmithing at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. The annual award honors those individuals who have made significant contributions to the field.
Presented to Frederick on May 26, 2001, was a full size sterling and walnut planishing hammer patterned after a 50th birthday present given to Hans in 1974 by his students. The hammer head is hand engraved: Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith's Award, May 26, 2001, William Frederick, A Sterling Silversmith. The hammer was created by Thomas Sandretto, former student and originator of the award. The sterling letters "HC" for Hans Christensen, and "WF" for William Frederick, were created by Jill Kinik, former student, and David Pimentel, also a former student of Hans's, created the walnut base and support arms in sterling. Additional sponsors including
Bernie Bernstein, Jim Chal, Sharon Church, Chip DeMatteo, Chuck Evans, John Lefgren, Burr & Mary Sebring, Neil Terkelsen, and Byron Whitehurst, lent both financial and creative assistance. Also presented to Frederick was a 12"x12" sheet of the new Argentium Sterling and a framed certificate.
Who is Eligible? (1) Any silversmith who is a United States citizen, (2) academics, professionals, and those working in the industry, (3) the nominee must be at least 50 years of age and a practicing silversmith for at least 20 years, (4) the silversmith must be living.
About the Society
The Society of American Silversmiths (SAS) was founded in 1989 as the world's only professional organization solely devoted to the preser-vation and promotion of contemporary silversmithing. Its Artisan members, those silversmiths both practicing and retired, who now or used to smith as a livelihood, are provided with support, networking, discounts, and greater access to the market. All Artisans have been juried into SAS based on their outstanding technical skill as silversmiths. In addition to nurturing student silversmiths, SAS also educates the public in demystifying silversmithing techniques and the aesthetic value of this art form through its free consulting service, the SASnews quarterly newsletter, American Silversmith annual, and exhibitions. Our Web site, located at http://www.silversmithing.com, is the largest and most comprehensive site devoted to silversmithing on the Internet.
Society of American Silversmiths
Contact: Jeffrey Herman
PO Box 786
Providence, RI 02907
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Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith's Award
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