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Scoring and Folding: Generators of Form in Silversmithing

Scoring and folding are traditional silversmithing techniques - as in the case of rectangular box construction - but are essentially problem-solving procedures, concealed in the outcomes. This project aimed to explore the process as a determinant of form, function and aesthetic, focusing on two differing but typical silversmithing design problems -pouring vessels and the centrepiece.

In the pouring vessels, the interplay of soft curving planes and abrupt folds with sharp arris-like joints was shown to introduce an immediately recognisable, original and clearly articulated formal language within decorative metalwork. Scoring and folding were particularly employed to address particular functional requirements such as lips, spouts and handles, and thereby to express their formal dialogue with the vessel's containing body. These techniques, and the forms they generated, were shown to be valuable strategies for production and also key to the development of families of forms - a fundamental tableware design problem.

A large commemorative dish introduced the process to a larger scale and a heavier thickness of metal. The originality of this work resided in its further unusual exploitation of scoring and folding: whereas scoring and folding had formerly been used to produce closed forms, in this case deep, 'parallel' curved scores in the 2mm body of the dish were exposed and opened up, driving the surrounding sheet into curved surfaces and adding a new element of decoration. At this scale - beyond that of traditional hand crafting the process also demanded the application of power tools and collaborative production. My outputs were exhibited at Collect in 2004 and 2005, purchased by Birmingham Museum and Shipley Art Gallery and commissioned by the Goldsmiths Company. Pieces acquired by the Goldsmiths Company were widely exhibited between 2004 and 2007, including Sheffield Millennium Galleries, Birmingham and Fitzwilliam Museums and were regularly used at Livery events.