Brett Payne

Brett Payne is a leading Contemporary British Silversmith with over twenty-five years experience. He is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths’, a Freeman of The Cutlers’ Company of Hallamshire, a former Chairman of The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council (GC&DC) and a Director of British Silver Week.

Brett Payne designs functional objects made from beautiful materials – individual, hand-made pieces that will spend longer on the dining tables and mantelpieces of the modern home than in display cases. Simplicity is key, enabling an uncomplicated way of making that produces contemporary classics.

In the late 1980s Brett leased a workshop in an abandoned industrial factory building in Sheffield in the North of England. Sheffield is a city famous for its illustrious metal-working tradition, one that Brett has successfully carried forward into the modern market. Today, he continues to operate from a workshop in this old industrial quarter of Sheffield, surrounded by the Victorian factories that once housed the city’s famed cutlers and steel workers. Over the past 35 years, Brett Payne has developed an impressive range of silver pieces from candlesticks to cookware, from flatware to hollowware, all thoughtfully designed and made to combine the best aspects of the material with use and enjoyment.

"My design philosophy encompasses the entire process of creation, from the inception of the idea, through the process of production and right to the point of sale. The public are red in tooth in and claw. They expect you to be good and instinctively know when something is right. Silversmithing is an applied art and at its best should demand and be capable of enduring a direct response. To me, silverware is like music or theatre, it can be recorded in a studio, held captive in a showcase, written about and photographed but is only live performance that reveals whether it has a soul.

The GC&DC provides perhaps the only national forum where craftsmen and designers working at the highest level can come together to celebrate their skills, creativity and enthusiasm for the fundamental importance of quality and expertise in their craft."

Leo de Vroomen

Leo de Vroomen is an artist jeweller of international distinction. He specialises in the techniques of repoussé and enamelling and uses a variety of bold colourful stones. With outstanding craftsmanship, an uncompromising commitment to originality and high standard of manufacture, Dutch born goldsmith Leo de Vroomen creates sculptural, elegant and sophisticated jewellery.

Following his apprenticeship in The Hague and qualifying as a Master Goldsmith in Switzerland, he came to London in 1965. Leo lectured at the Central School of Art and Design (today Central St. Martins) prior to setting up his own studio/workshop in the early 70's. He constantly pushed boundaries and explored and developed his exclusive style of jewellery, which soon became instantly recognisable and of global appeal. Leo's exquisite work has a sense of liberty and is free from commercial constraints.
After twice winning the De Beers Diamond International Award, De Vroomen was given a retrospective exhibition at the Goldsmiths' Hall in 1991. He currently operates from his gallery/shop in Belgravia's Elizabeth Street.
"In many design fields the recent obsession with large international brand names has diverted interest away from individual artist designers. This is now changing as the more discerning and confident buyers no longer wish to be "labelled" and are searching for something different and more personal. Jewellery as an art form however, still has to be wearable and is consequently inextricably bound to design and craft. Therefore it is now more important than ever that we retain and encourage these skills in this country, which is the reason why I wholeheartedly support the work of the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council. "

Shaun Leane

Celebrated world-wide for his modern romantic jewels that push the boundaries of contemporary design, Shaun Leane began his career training at the bench in London's jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden. This grounding enabled him to break entrenched traditions, play with conventions and bring a fresh dynamic spirit to exquisitely crafted, fine jewellery.

While working as a goldsmith, Leane began a long-standing collaboration with the late Alexander McQueen, creating provocative catwalk jewels that have become iconic milestones in the art of couture jewellery. This collaboration acted as a catalyst to Leane's burgeoning desire to blend technical perfection with creative freedom, and in 1999 he launched the first collections of Shaun Leane Jewellery.
Since then, Leane has been responsible for creating a new genre of jewellery; precious, poetic, with a sense of eternity, yet relevant to today's world. The powerful, emotive and often poignant beauty of Shaun Leane jewellery is underlined with sentiment, stories and meaning, tapping into the history and heritage of jewellery.

Alongside his award-winning collections, Shaun Leane has worked on one-of-a-kind projects and collaborations with, amongst others, artist Sam Taylor-Wood, Givenchy and Parisian master jeweller Boucheron. Leane has been named U.K. Jewellery Designer of the Year, on four occasions, and his jewels described by Sotheby's as "antiques of the future." As his themes, inspirations and impeccable hand-crafting skills are continually evolving, liberating creativity, so Shaun Leane Jewellery is evolving from an individual artist-jeweller into one of the world's most exciting and trailblazing luxury jewellery houses.

Stephen Webster

Stephen Webster is one of the most prominent jewellery designers of his generation. Founded upon 35 vibrant years of exquisite craftsmanship and fearless creativity, British-born Stephen Webster has evolved into the global luxury jewellery brand of tomorrow. Coveted by icons and idols, Stephen Webster is celebrated for creating modern classics with an eternally chic and glamorous aesthetic.

"The first award I ever won as a jeweller was a Silver Award in the Designer Jeweller Finished Pieces Juniors category. Quite a mouthful. I was seventeen. And already hooked. I never missed a year after that, always preparing a piece for what was going to be my next big win and maybe even the elusive Goldsmiths Award. Alas, that was never to be, but as my business grew I have always encouraged my staff jewellers, designers and in more recent years, CAD team to enter something into the Awards. I am proud to say that over the years all of them have won something including many Golds and Silvers.
In a year when Britain has established itself as a true nation of athletes at the London Olympics, all of us witnessed a sense of pride that we are unaccustomed to. We have also learned the importance of training, commitment, influence and legacy. With these in mind, plus the current crucial focus on retaining skills within the country, the all inclusive Goldsmiths Craftsmanship and Design Awards which recognise the excellence in every facet of the industry feel more relevant than ever. The Awards offer a podium and an opportunity for the best to receive the acknowledgement, a prize and of course, that round of applause for their achievements.

Everyone loves a winner."

Theo Fennell

Theo Fennell was at Eton in the 1960's and became their first pupil in living memory to go on to art college; first York and then The Byam Shaw. Beginning his career in portraiture, he soon realised he might starve if he continued down this path. It was by pure chance that he was then offered a job at the great silversmiths Edward Barnard's where he discovered an aptitude and passion for silver and jewellery design and a huge respect for craftsmen and craftsmanship. He formed his eponymous company in the late 70's establishing his Studio and Workshop in Chelsea where they are still based today.

Theo Fennell is one of today´s leading jewellery designers and his handcrafted masterpieces grace serious collections, famous bodies and tables all over the world. His unique jewellery and silverware are both distinctive and inspirational, and his pieces incorporate eclectic, quirky and beautifully detailed design with great craftsmanship. The combination of modernity with the classical, Romantic tradition makes his style instantly recognisable. Theo takes great pride in being involved in every phase with his multi-award winning studio and workshop teams so that the Theo Fennell vision is realised to the last detail.
"Jewellery should be something emotionally engaging and life-enhancing and should give pleasure for generations. It is the marriage of design and craftsmanship with beautiful and rare materials that gives romance and heft to proper jewellery and silver"

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