SILVER of the Stars, the sparkling collection of contemporary Scottish silverware created by some of the best craftsmen and women in the country, will enjoy a glittering Christmas this year after more than 7 years touring the world to the delight of three-quarters of a million visitors.
This winter the collection will be shown at the Barony Centre in West Kilbride, alongside pieces from The Millennium Collection for Bute House, the silver collection used by Scotland’s First Minister when entertaining at Bute House. The exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting programme of events including silversmithing and jewellery workshops, handling sessions and lectures.
The collection, which was designed in collaboration with world-famous Scottish actors, writers and musicians including Sean Connery and Ewan McGregor, has just returned from a hugely popular tour of Europe that has confirmed Scotland’s international reputation for contemporary silver.
Tom Murray, the Deacon of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh, which commissioned Silver of the Stars to mark the Incorporation’s 550th anniversary, says: “Scotland is home to a unique community of artists working in silver. Their work is held by some of the world’s leading collectors and the demand from galleries to show this unique collection has been overwhelming.
“There is a huge interest in Scotland and its heritage and this collection combines ancient techniques and craftsmanship with superb artistry and new engineering solutions. In many ways it stands as a metaphor for Scottish talent and innovation.”
The ten drinking vessels that make up Silver of the Stars include a vintage car-inspired whisky set for actor Robbie Coltrane; a diamond bejewelled teapot for singer Sharleen Spiteri and a rolling teapot for Billy Connolly.
There is a definite West Kilbride connection in this stunning exhibition; one of the selected silversmiths , Marion Kane, created a coffee pot, mug and cream jug for the acclaimed actor Ewan McGregor from her Craft Town Scotland studio and Roger Millar designed and made a beautiful hot chocolate pot and pair of mugs for one of West Kilbrides most famous residents and renowned violinist, Nicola Benedetti.
Marion departed from her usual feminine style of silversmithing, with its natural, flowing lines, to create a chunky and quintessentially masculine coffee set for Ewan McGregor. She raised the main body and lid of each piece, used fabrication and riveting for the handles, and she turned the acrylic stoppers. Marion sourced reclaimed motorbike handles for the handles of the jug and mug. On the jug she laser engraved the names of the countries that Ewan and Charley Boorman visited on their "Long Way Round" motorbike trip. The registration plates of their bikes are inscribed on the mug.
In his design for Nicola's hot chocolate pot, Roger was asked to include a subtle reference to music. He got so immersed in the design process that he produced five different designs for her to select. The final result was a beautiful pot and a pair of mugs, made by seaming the metal and spinning it. The insulating bars between the body and handle of the pot and mugs make this piece as practical as it is stunning, thanks to the flair of the design, and Nicola's exuberant signature.