Exploring: The Mineral Galleries

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Yesterday I went down to London, mainly to go to a lecture but also, as I was in the neighbourhood, to spend the day at the Natural History Museum, somewhere that I’ve never really lingered very much.

Mineral Galleries, Natural History Museum

I’m so glad that I did. It’s treasure trove of fascinating exhibits and, though I didn’t find as many fossils as I’d hoped for on display I did discover the Mineral Galleries, up in the roof, which yielded an astounding array of colourful textures and surfaces:

mineral Samples, Natural History Museum sm

Some of these macro shots are almost reminiscent of a coral reef, with the minerals forming either beautifully organic structures or some really rather mathematical constructs, all effortlessly intersecting angles and sharp lines.

Plus, tucked away up there, I found two whole cases of silver mineral samples, some of which reminded me very much of those that I saw in Edinburgh, in January, all long, coiling wires that occurred naturally as the silver formed:

Silver Mineral Samples, Natural History Museum, London 2015

The two samples on the plinth are particularly large examples of these natural wires and are still attached to the rocks upon which they grew. They were found in Norway in 1834 and 1886 respectively, they hail from the Kongsberg Silver mines and are now housed in the Museum’s Vault exhibition space.

Goldsmiths Fair 2012 [Week Two]

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The end of Septmeber/beginning of October is marked indelibly in the industry calendar as ‘Goldsmiths Fair‘. Now in it’s 30th year the two week event sees some of the nations finest makers of jewellery and silverware gather in London to present new work to visitors in the splendid surroundings of Goldsmiths Hall.

Here’s who I loved this year:

Petya Kapralova :

maker of  sculptural pieces, tableware and desk accessories Kapralova is a new graduate with an eye for balance and beautiful simplicity. Some of her most striking pieces, made from silver and silver inlaid iron (I have no idea how you’d even start to inlay silver in iron, but hats off to her as she makes it sound effortless) play with your expectations and amuse themselves with their inlaid silver ‘reflections’.

Alex Ramsey:

I’ve admired Ramsey’s work for years but haven’t seen much of it in person before. This year, fresh from a trip to Iceland, she was presenting some new pieces that use her trademark saw pierced technique but employ smatterings of enamel too, creating some wonderful textures and sprays of colour over her silverware.

Sarah Pulvertaft:

Forms jewellery from many tiny components, aiming to capture the complexity of nature in her work. In delicate mixes of silver and gold the many tiny forms build up into a larger whole with a subtle, shimmering motion to them which does indeed make them feel like they have a life of their own.