making form

MAKING FORM: CONTEMPORARY BRITISH FINE METALWORK

by Kenneth Quickenden and Lee Hewett   e-book available

Comprehensive e-book of metalwork in Britain, not only silversmithing and jewellery, but blacksmithing and other metalwork.

A launch was held at the School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University on 17 October 2019. Apart from the authors, contributions to discussion were also made by some prominent fine metalworkers.

This publication critically explores the revival of British fine metalwork by designer-makers since roughly the 1970s. It demonstrates many strengths: the increase in that period in the number of practitioners, the creative use of a wider range of metals, the supplementing of traditional techniques with newer ones, design innovation and a wide range of products, with much emphasis on art objects; all of that, taken together, has transformed the craft. This success has been underpinned by a number of supports: government initiatives, assay offices, livery companies, professional associations, exhibitions and education, though there are increasing concerns about the availability of funding for craft teaching. That, and pressures created by periods of economic difficulty, offer challenges to a craft which is expensive, and raise anxieties about the future. But over the period covered by the book, Britain has re-established fine metalwork and has earned itself a strong international reputation.

The book is substantial, scholarly and attractive. It contains roughly 70,000 words, including over 900 footnotes. Apart from eight chapters, there is a bibliography and a glossary. There are 230 still and moving images.

The publication is an e-book priced at £5. The book will appear on-line in October 2019 on iBooks (an Apple platform designed to work on iPads). A downloadable version for other platforms (Android/Windows) will be available at a later date from a dedicated website.

Publisher Birmingham City University