Albion Smith – Gifted Hands That Creates Exquisite Objects

Posted: Tue, Sep 8th 2015, 00:20 | Updated: Tue, Oct 10th 2017, 04:43

A Journey from Steel Metal Shop to Becoming a Silversmith 

albion-smith

 

Traditionally a father passes his skills to his children. But when a child learns more than what was taught in his childhood and goes to become a celebrated artisan, that’s when the father’s skills really pass on. For Albion Smith, the celebrated jewelry and silversmith, his apprentice began right when he was a young boy. His teacher was his father and the school was his father’s sheet metal shop. Today Albion Smith is known for creating some exquisite functional items, such as goblets, urns, teapots, keepsake boxes and flasks.

One of the reasons why Albion Smith moved away from molding steel to create sculptures to silversmithing is because as a young boy he found it difficult to keep his custom sculptures in the bus where he lived to save money.

Of course he has climbed the ladders of success in his 30 years’ career and today lives in Santa Cruz, Northern California with his wife Elissa Forsyth. 

 

albion smith box

 

albion smith flask

 

albion smith flask and cups

 

Awards and Recognition             

One of his teapots is part of the permanent collection at Washington, DC’s Smithsonian Museum of American Art. It was inducted into the museum in 1996.

 

awards

 

Redefining Ornate Functional Objects

Albion Smith is today known for giving life to ornate objects. Apart from designing every part of objects he creates, right from the hinges to the base plates, Smith also designs jewelry pieces such as bracelets, rings and pendants. He is a firm believer in working with his own hands. He likes to cut pieces from silver sheet and get them soldered. From hammering textures to applying patinas, his specialty lies in doing everything by his own hands. Apart from silver sheets, he also makes use of semi-precious and precious stones. It has been found that Smith has also made use of horns and bones as well ancient mastodon tusk from glacier finds.

To give an example of his brilliant craftsmanship, take a look at this detailed teapot.

 

albion smith flask

 

albion smith goblet

 

albion smith goblet

 

albion smith kettle

 

albion smith urn

 

albion smith wood silver box

To make this piece, Smith made use of winding patterns on flattened silver sheet. After imprinting the patterns, the layered silver was scored, bent and soldered to get the final hexagonal shape. If noticed carefully, it can be seen that all the parts of the teapot blend seamlessly while the gem at the centre illuminates as if it’s on a crown.

 

References

https://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/a/albion/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albion_Smith

https://americanart.si.edu/luce/object.cfm?key=338&artistmedia=0&subkey=2385

https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/general-news/20101129/monterey-bay-metal-arts-guild-artists-share-their-passion

https://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artist/?id=7116

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jewelry designersjewelry designerAlbion Smith

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