© Spring 2000 Newsletter


Schremmer Wins Hans Christensen Award

The Society is excited to announce its first recipient of the Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith’s Award. SAS Artisan Harold Schremmer, 72, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, received the prestigious accolade at SilverWorksII—the Society’s annual silversmithing demonstration event held in Chepachet, Rhode Island.

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 Schremmer on June 3, 2000, was a full-size sterling-and-walnut planishing hammer patterned after a 50th birthday present given to Hans in 1974 by his students. The hammerhead is hand-engraved: Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith's Award, June 3, 2000, Harold Schremmer, A Sterling Silversmith. The hammer and sterling letters “HC” for Hans Christensen, and “HS” for Harold Schremmer, were created by Thomas Sandretto, former student and originator of the award. David Pimentel, also a former student of Hans's, created the base and support arms in sterling. Additional sponsors, including Jim Chal, Chuck Evans, Ron McNeish, Jon Parry, and Byron Whitehurst, lent both financial and creative assistance. Also presented was a framed certificate. Upon presentation, Schremmer jokingly proclaimed: “It’s about time!”

Schremmer, who has been a studio silversmith since 1958, also taught metal arts at Maine College of Art in Portland and at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Known throughout the world for his work, he has designed and created elimination trophies for six years for The Americas Cup, and placed pieces in the Vatican, including an altar cross for the high altar of Saint Peter’s.

Schremmer also holds a diploma in silversmithing and jewelry making, graduating with honors in 1953 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts. He also has diplomas in silversmithing and jewelry making from schools in Schwabisch-Gmund and Pforzheim, Germany.

Schremmer’s complete biography and select sterling creations may be seen on the Society’s Web site at http://www.silversmithing.com, where you will also find information about Hans Christensen.

Next SilverChat

Tim Chilcott is a British designer and maker of contemporary silver. An executive committee member of the Association of British Designer Silversmiths, he was recently granted the Freedom of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. Tim lives and works on the north bank of the Thames Estuary. Having worked in a small architect's practice for several years, Tim decided to find a more creative outlet for his skills and enrolled at Medway College of Design to study silversmithing. He graduated from Medway in 1988, having won many awards for design and craftsmanship, and was successful in several graduates' shows. For the next five years he worked in two of the top workshops in London to develop his skills. During this time he worked on many major international commissions including large dinner services and highly prestigious one-of-a-kind pieces. In 1994, Tim set up his own workshop in Westcliff-on-Sea and started work on some major projects for the Middle East and the Home Market, including work for the Goldsmiths' Company and St. John's College, Cambridge.

On Wednesday, August 9, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. EST, Tim will talk about his work and show objects he designed and created. To visit SilverChat site and get accustomed to how it works, go to http://www.silversmithing.com/silchat.htm.

Two Must-Have Silver Books Just Published

Contemporary Silver: Commissioning, Designing, Creating
Reviewed by Jeffrey Herman

Looking for a book on contemporary silver?

If you go to the Web and enter “contemporary silver” in a search engine, what comes up? Not much, right? Go to the Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites and look there as well. You’ll find just one book: Contemporary Silver: Commissioning, Designing, Creating. Sure, you’ll find a few out-of-print books published in Europe, but who has the time to brush up on their German? The authors of Contemporary Silver are Benton Seymour Rabinovitch and Helen Clifford, Ph.D. Rabinovitch is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle, a member of the Silver Society (London), and Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. He is a longtime collector of antique silver and serving pieces and is the author of Antique Silver Servers for the Dining Table. Clifford has a number of degrees, is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, member of the Silver Society (London), and an honorary member of the Association of British Designer-Silversmiths. She has written and curated exhibitions on historical and contemporary silver.

The two authors have produced a book that is both beautiful and inspiring. Rabinovitch commissioned 62 notable silversmiths from the United States and Great Britain to design and create silver serving pieces in fish-server or cake-slice form. The result is an incredible range of servers in every conceivable technique. From the minimalist to the baroque, from the abstract to the representational, all are meant for practical use, though cleaning some of the more intricate pieces would certainly be a challenge.

These servers demonstrate mastery of the craft, and offer a comparative survey in technique and design between the two countries.

Each of the 62 pieces illustrated (75 have been commissioned to date) has a full description, including materials used, dimensions, and narrative, an artist’s philosophy/statement, and brief personal history. Rabinovitch also comments on how he chose each silversmith for the commission.

Within the 160 pages lie chapters on the commissioning process; historical background on servers in the 18th and 19th centuries; silver design in Britain and the U.S. between 1950 and 2000; understanding the collection; the collection itself; and a helpful glossary of terms.

Below are U.S. smiths featured in the book (*SAS Artisan):

Sue Amendolara*
Phillip Baldwin
Candace Beardslee*
Flora Book
Michael Brophy*
Robert Butler*
Wade Callender
Chunghi Choo*
John Cogswell*
Cynthia Eid*

Susan Ewing*
Robert Farrell*
William Frederick*
David Gackenbach
Roger Horner*
Val Link*
John Marshall*
Kurt Matzdorf*
Komelia Hongja Okim
Ronald Pearson (deceased)*

David Peterson
Harold Schremmer*
Andrea Schweitzer
Heikki Seppä*
Helen Shirk
Nancy Slagle*
Julia Woodman
Kee-Ho Yuen*
Skip Gaynard

Contemporary Silver: Commissioning, Designing, Creating is available from Barnes and Noble bookstores for $45, and on their Web site at http://www.bn.com for $31.50 plus $4.29 shipping.

Silversmithing–A Manual of Design & Techniques
Reviewed by Jeffrey Herman

It’s rare to find a good basic technical book on silversmithing that’s still being published. Silversmithing–A Manual of Design & Techniques was written by British silversmith Keith Smith, who has over 30 years of experience in both teaching and creating private commissions. Though not as comprehensive as Silversmithing by Finegold and Seitz, and considering the book has only 157 pages, it does good job of basic instruction in the subjects presented. While Finegold and Seitz’s book fails in the area of shop safety, it is an issue adequately covered in the Manual.

Included are chapters on setting up a workshop; descriptions of metals; health and safety measures; an extensive design section; sinking, raising, seaming, planishing, bending and forming; working with wire and tubing; miscellaneous forming techniques such as spout making and forging; decoration, which includes chasing, etching, piercing, appliqué, engraving, and mokume gane; finishing and polishing; hallmarking, and suppliers in the United Kingdom. There are also numerous illustrations and color photographs of completed works.

I read it through the eyes of a novice metalsmith and came away with a good understanding of what it takes to function as a silversmith. Individuals who deal in antique silver but never knew how these objects were created, will benefit from this book as well.

Silversmithing–A Manual of Design & Techniques is available for $35.00 plus shipping from Trafalgar Square Books, PO Box 257, Howe Hill Rd., N. Pomfret, VT 05053, Tel: 800/423-4525, 802/457-1911, Fax: 802/457-1913.

Artisan Member News

Sue Amendolara has a one-person show titled “Precious Botanicals: An Exhibition of Recent Metalwork” at the Erie Art Museum in Pennsylvania. The exhibition runs from June 17–September 17, 2000.

Michael Banner and his wife Maureen exhibited at the Smithsonian Craft Show in April. They also received a “2000 Artist Award” in the metals category from the Society of Arts & Crafts in Boston, Massachusetts. The SAC Artist Awards encourage and support Massachusetts artists who show a mastery of their craft media and create original and innovative work. They received a $2,000 cash award. The Banner’s work may be seen at the SAC through August 31, 2000.

Billie Jean Theide curated “The Precious Ordinary,” an on-line multimedia exhibition for Guild.com.

Munya Avigail Upin was selected as a finalist in the “2000 Niche Awards–Lighting/Candlesticks category.

Supplier News

CD Nelson Manufacturing Co. has a new address and toll-free telephone number: 27421 North Darrell Rd., Wauconda, IL 60084, 888/275-0770. Also, check the Web site for their big sale on steam cleaners, with added savings for members.

David L. Smith Photography no longer offers discounts to SAS members.

Wiesner Manufacturing, our chain discounter, has a new telephone number: 401/421-2406, and Fax: 401/421-2467.

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