Panel Discussion: What is the Future of Functional Silverware?

12 Jun 2024 · 6:00PM - 8:00PM
£12 (includes a glass of wine or soft drink)
The Goldsmiths’ Centre, London EC1M 5AD
Programme type
Talks, Exhibitions and Showcases
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What is the role and function of silverware today, and how has this changed? Is there still a place for silver on our tables? Do silversmiths and brands need to develop and adapt? If so, how?

Join silversmiths, Angela Cork, Chris Knight and Simone ten Hompel alongside curators Dr Tessa Murdoch and John Andrew as they grapple with the future of silverware.

They will consider significant shifts in silverware design from the Huguenots in 18th century Britain, to the post-war renaissance in British Silver, analysing where we are today. Designers and educators, Knight, Cork and ten Hompel will discuss their individual practices, the driving force behind their work as silversmiths and explore the changes they are seeing in the industry, from students, colleagues and those who are commissioning work.

There will be in the opportunity to ask questions and join in the conversation.

The talk coincides with the exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ Centre, The Craft of Tea: 1660 – 2024 which explores the material history of teaware and features work by Chris Knight and Simone ten Hompel as well as items from The Pearson Silver Collection, curated by John Andrew.  

Image credit: Tea Set by Chris Knight, 2004. Crafts Council Collection: M76. Photo: Heini Schneebeli, courtesy of the Crafts Council

Who are the speakers?

Angela Cork is Principal of Bishopsland Educational Trust and is an established silversmith and industry leader with a strong technical, design and academic background.  Her work is represented in many prestigious galleries and exhibitions and in private and public collections including The P&O Makower Trust for the National Museum of Wales, Birmingham Museum & City Art Gallery and the Goldsmiths’ Company.

Chris Knight

Chris Knight is a designer, silversmith, sculptor, public artist and academic. Often working on the boundaries between art, craft and design, he is known for his visually and functionally provocative pieces. Chris has exhibited internationally. These include Notions of Beauty, Yunnan, China (2019), Metal Narrative, Beijing, China (2020), A Sterling Adventure, SFO Museum, San Francisco (2018), Resonance, CAA, London (2015), Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Korea (2013) and Treasures of the 21st Century at the Ruthin Craft Centre (2010).His work is included in major public collections around the world including The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths’, The Victoria & Albert Museum, the Archdiocese of New York, The Crafts Council, The Shipley Collection, Sheffield Assay Office, Museum Sheffield, Birmingham City Museum, and The Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris.

Shortlisted for the prestigious Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2005, Chris won the Museum Sheffield National Metalwork award in 2010. His largest public artwork ‘Cutting Edge’ Sheffield, received numerous awards including the RIBA White Rose Award and the Marsh Award for public sculpture.

Chris is a Senior Lecturer Post Graduate Jewellery and Metalwork at Sheffield Hallam University and became a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in 2015. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Simone ten Hompel

Simone ten Hompel is an award winning metal practitioner based in the UK. She is interested in the process of thinking and making that sit behind objects, exploring how objects relate to our contemporary culture. Simone is a Reader for Metal, Jewellery and Silversmithing at London Metropolitan University.

She has contributed to a range of exhibitions in the UK and Europe as well as in the USA, South Korea and China. Her work is in public collections including The V&A Museum, Crafts Council Collection, National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Wales, Goldsmiths' Company and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Simone has been awarded the Glenmorangie Commission with National Museum Scotland in 2018, the State of Bavaria Award for Applied Art in 2012 and was the winner of the 2005 Jerwood Applied Arts Prize.

Dr. Tessa Murdoch

Dr. Tessa Murdoch FSA worked at the Museum of London 1981-1990 and at the V&A 1990-2021. Her recent publications are Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture (V&A, 2021) and as consultant Great Irish Households: Inventories from the long eighteenth century (John Adamson, November 2022). For Bloomsbury, she is co-editing with Dr Heike Zech A Cultural History of Craft in the Age of Enlightenment for publication in 2024

Tessa advises the National Trust and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, is a member of the Acceptance in Lieu Panel, Arts Council England, a Board Member of the Idlewild Trust, and currently serves as Chair of the Trustees of the Huguenot Museum. She is a member of the Contemporary Craft Committee at the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.

She is Associate Research Professor in Cultural History, Institute of Humanities, University of Buckingham, 2023-2025.

John Andrew

John Andrew is the curator of The Pearson Silver Collection, which is devoted to post-World War II and contemporary British Silver. It is regarded as being of national importance.