This has been pushing Stuart’s work of late, the “how do you open this?”, “what is it for?” types of question. Rings with hinges that once opened, but are rivetted shut, knots tied in the ends of spoon handles, boxes that have to be ‘figured out’ before opening! Coming from both a fine art, and decorative art based back ground, Stuart has always felt that objects should be a feast for the eye, and also engage the mind. Contrast is used to create a visual palette, rough with smooth, texture with polished, black with white, the silver becomes a painterly and sculptural material, in which the surface retains all evidence of the creative act.
Stuart’s artistic training has been rich and diverse, following the path of both fine art and the decorative arts Whilst studying for a fine art foundation course, he was introduced to the world of silversmithing, jewellery making, and craftsmanship, by a local, leading British silversmith, Michael Bolton. An informal apprenticeship taught him techniques of the past, to combine with design ideas, for the future. After graduating from Bretton Hall University College in 1997, with a first class honours degree in fine art (painting), Stuart moved to London, setting up a workshop, enabling him to slowly start making up his own collection, whilst working as a freelance maker for other jewellers. After 8 years he then moved down to West Sussex. Setting up his studio, from were he now works, creating items of jewellery and silverware, to adorn the body, heart and mind. “Many pieces born from an idea quickly scrawled on a piece of paper, sometimes from an image held in my minds eye, then worked out cold at the workbench, where it takes on a life of it’s own. Creating pieces in silver is very satisfying and rewarding, because it is such a forgiving material. It can be shaped, worked, and pushed as far as you are willing to take it! The surface retains all evidence of the creative act, and becomes a document of it’s own history. When you see a piece years after you have made it, it becomes even better! Through wearing, a piece gets knocked, marked, and aged, adding to its beauty, its history. Inspiration and ideas comes from many places, nature, man-made objects, architecture, wind worn surfaces, waiting for trains and looking up at the station ceilings; but mostly they come from the shear joy that is the creative act.”