Silversmiths' Sharing Skills: A Teapot Making Project

20 May 2024 · 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Pay what you can (£3, £5 or £10)
Online (via Zoom), UK time
Programme type
Talks, Exhibitions and Showcases
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Join contemporary silversmiths Tony Bedford, Abigail Brown, Rauni Higson and Angus McFadyen from the John Cussell Memorial Fund Project in an online talk as they discuss the power of skill sharing and the art of crafting a tea pot.

The John Cussell Memorial Fund Project was created to help ensure the art of silversmithing is passed on to a new generation of makers. Learn how this group of leading silversmiths worked with Tony Bedford on their projects, sharing their time, skills and knowledge to each produce a unique teapot.

You will hear about their initial inspirations and designs and discover how they taught a younger group of silversmiths at Yorkshire Art Space to produce new works. This collaborative, learning experience proved to be beneficial for everyone involved and asks us how we can continue to support and educate young makers?


“Created to honour the memory of John Cussell, a talented silversmith and jeweller, the project was a skill-share/ teaching / learning opportunity with a cascade effect to impart skills to the next generation of silversmiths and train the future trainers. The project helps ensure the ancient skills of silversmithing are not lost, safeguarding the survival of the craft in the U.K.”


~ Tony Bedford and Rauni Higson

We run our events in person at the Goldsmiths’ Centre and online, so that as many of our community as possible can exchange ideas, learn from industry experts, and form valuable connections across the UK. We do not record these events, or broadcast them when they are in person, to encourage the open sharing of ideas and experiences and preserve confidentiality. Popular topics will be repeated over time.

Who are the speakers?

Tony Bedford is a Goldsmiths’ Company apprentice served silversmith with over 45 year of trade experience. After many years at the bench, he became manager of a well-known London manufacturing company, with customers such as Garrard and Asprey, and clients from the Middle East and South East Asia.

He eventually moved into retail and became Director of Product Development and Production for Silver at Asprey of Bond Street. Tony is a Liveryman of The Goldsmiths’ Company and has won two Jacques Cartier Awards at the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council competition and in 2024 won The Lifetime Achievement Award. He has a passion for passing on skills to the next generation and runs teaching workshops at every opportunity.

Abigail Brown has been producing contemporary designs in silver since 2001, creating one off and small batch production items of silverware and jewellery. She specialises in raising to create beautiful one-off art objects and functional silverware.

Abigail is a Freeman of The Goldsmiths’ Company and she has been granted the Freedom of the City of London. She has exhibited internationally at venues including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, Goldsmiths' Hall and the German Goldsmiths' House in Hanau. Her silverware is widely collected and is included in the public collection of National Museum Wales in Cardiff.

Rauni Higson specialises in hammer-formed silver for celebration and commemoration; contemporary sculptural designs created with traditional techniques, connecting and responding to the natural world and client’s significant themes.

Commissions include six pieces in the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection, The V&A Museum, The National Museum of Wales, Liverpool Met Cathedral, The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, and Henley Royal Regatta. Her studio was established in Snowdonia in 1997, after training in Finland.

Angus McFadyen is a silversmith and engraver, who works mostly to commission as well as engraving for other makers and companies. With limited formal teaching in how to make things, an important part of Angus’s work philosophy has always been “try it and see” and, of course, “always listen when someone tells you something”.