Shaun Grace wins Young Designer Silversmith award


22-year-old takes home 17th prize for his pair of flower vases.

The Goldsmiths’ Company’s Young Designer Silversmith Award ceremony was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) earlier this week, with 22-year-old silversmith Shaun Grace scooping this year’s prize.

Grace was presented with a cheque for £500 and a certificate by the award’s judges – former Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company and chairman of the judges Martin Drury, artists and silversmiths Rod Kelly and Clive Burr and Annamarie Stapleton, consultant to the Fine Arts Society in London.

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He had created a pair of floral vases that took inspiration from the Sydney Opera House and calla lilies. Grace is said to have spent six weeks working on the vases, and was granted £4,000 towards the cost of creating his design in silver, while utilising workshop space alongside silversmith Steven Ottewill in Kent.

The terms of the award say that the winning design is given to the nearest major museum to where the winner is based or studied. Grace, who graduated from the University of Creative Arts in Rochester, has donated his vases to the V&A.

Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company and silversmith Hector Miller spoke at the awards and praised Grace for his winning design. “One of the Prime Warden’s privileges is to encounter at first hand, not just inspirational creative design in silver, but also remarkable technical craftsmanship. This is especially true of Shaun Grace, the 17th winner of this annual competition.”

This annual Young Designer Silversmith award is focused on young silversmithing students at university in Britain today and is open to any student under the age of 30 on a BA or Master’s degree course.

The Award scheme was started in 1994 as an initiative to encourage students to show their artistic individuality in silver.

The design brief changes each year and on this occasion the students were asked to submit designs for a pair of complementing silver vessels that had to interact with each other as well as effectively displaying flowers of a particular species.



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