A year long programme of events, exhibitions and conversations showcasing how silver can enhance contemporary living – V&A

Contemporary British Silversmiths

The Goldsmiths’ Company, V&A, Incorporation of Goldsmiths, Cultural Agenda, Benchpeg, Danish Foundation

Partnership Development:
V&A, Georg Jensen, Bonhams, Silver Trust at 10 Downing Street, London Craft Week, London Design Festival, Royal College of Art, De Vroomen, Holburne Museum, Incorporation of Goldsmiths, Danish Embassy

Development Team:
Karin Paynter, Rauni Higson, Angela Cork

Martin Rusak
Sylvain Deleu

Press & PR:
Cultural Agenda

Silver Speaks was a 15 month long multi event programme conceived and directed for Contemporary British Silversmiths.

The 24 event programme was delivered in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Goldsmiths’ Company in 2016 with additional partnerships developed with Georg Jensen, London Craft Week, the London Design Festival and culminating in a sale at Bonhams.

The aim for Silver Speaks was to champion the creativity of British silversmiths and put contemporary silver ‘back on the map’ catching the attention of design led media. We partnered with leading PR firm Cultural Agenda and tasked them to put across a simple positive message that silver is ‘back in fashion’ and trigger a resurgence in its popularity.

The programme comprised exhibitions, talks, demonstrations, workshops and a public symposium all designed to showcase the work and breadth of skill of silversmiths in the United Kingdom. The focus exhibition was curated by design critic and journalist Corinne Julius on the theme of Silver in Contemporary Life and held in the Silver Galleries in the V&A.

orAlongside the V&A event, there was a trade strand with a complementary exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell focusing on skills and technique, alongside a trade symposium and academic conferences held at the Goldsmiths’ Centre and RCA.

The initial design inspiration came from a Sylvie Guillem/Russell Maliphant performance at Sadler’s Wells, PUSH which celebrated the form of the dancer with strong photography and an emphasis on the process. This was developed by graphic designers Neon.


“Silver Speaks: ‘Form’ is an exhibition of work by members of Contemporary British Silversmiths. It offers a behind the scenes look at the techniques that enable makers to create work in silver, while exploring their relationship with materials, processes and tools. It is part of Silver Speaks, the year long programme of events celebrating the exceptional level of creativity and skill in British silversmithing today.

The exhibition will provide an insight into the processes behind the making of objects and what is used to create them Showcasing 33 works alongside the makers’ tools, original samples and drawings.” Karin Paynter – Director

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“Nestled between the ‘Personal Pleasures’ and ‘Modernism’ sections of the vast silver collections at the Victoria and Albert Museumis a new contemporary range of silver works. In a show titled ‘Silver Speaks’, the group of specially commissioned silverware is giving the precious metal a new lease of life”



“Form is all about celebrating the making process, demonstrating the importance of tools and materials for individual silversmiths and showcasing the breadth of craftsmanship in British silversmithing. Through the Silver Speaks programme, Contemporary British Silversmiths is putting silver on the world stage to show how beautiful pieces can be created to enhance contemporary living, architecture and fashion.” KARIN PAYNTER

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