Studying an object from the Edward James Collection: Silver porringer
By Finn Banwell, Foundation Degree Arts - Metalwork student
I first became interested in metalwork when I visited a Japanese silversmith’s workshop. Whilst exploring Kyoto, I found “Artsmith”, a local shop selling a variety of craft pieces and very detailed, intricate examples of metalwork. Also, in this shop, was a workshop, where the Craftsman and owner of the shop could go about his work in plain sight of the customers. It was fascinating to see the processes and time that went into their creation and this inspired me to ask to make something for myself with the help of the shop owner.
From this experience, I decided to study metalwork in greater depth, and this led me to West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, where I am currently a first-year FdA Metalwork student. One of the unique opportunities we have is to look at and handle objects from the Edward James Collection (the former owner of West Dean), which contains many fascinating artefacts and objects he had acquired throughout his travels. One item that I was immediately drawn to was a silver porringer. I am really interested in the techniques used to make this object, the context behind it and what makes it special.