The Contemporary British Silversmiths and the Goldsmiths’ Centre have announced a partnership to launch an innovative skills training programme that will “protect and promote excellence in British silversmithing skills”.
The association is working with the Goldsmiths’ Centre to ‘safeguard the future’ of ‘endangered’ higher level British craft skills by passing on its knowledge to the next generation.
Chair of Contemporary British Silversmiths, Angela Cork, said: “We are delighted to be the first skills training partner organisation of the Goldsmiths’ Centre. This represents a new way of working for both organisations and we both welcome enquiries from other institutions that are keen to be involved with training silversmiths.”
Conceived a year ago by silversmith and Contemporary British Silversmiths’ former chair, Rauni Higson, the programme developed from a pilot course, focused on training offered by retired silversmith Tony Bedford.
The aim of the initiative will be to become self-fulfilling as students from the courses will teach on workshops further on in the programme. Teaching resources will be written by the tutors with technical and editing support from the association.
Sally Dodson, programme manager, said: “Having worked in the crafts industry for over 15 years, I am acutely aware of the imminent and real risk that our craft skills will be lost.”
Peter Taylor, director of the Goldsmiths’ Centre, added: “The preservation of traditional skills is central to the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s education and training programme. Our ability to form meaningful partnerships with organisations such as Contemporary British Silversmiths is allowing for this to occur on an ever-increasing scale.”