about fleur GRENIER.
There are few contemporary pewtersmiths working within the UK, of which I am one. My passion for pewter began when I was introduced to it while doing my degree at Sir John Cass, in London just under 30 years ago and from that moment I did not look back and it has been a constant companion in my work. After my degree I went on to The Royal College of Art, London where I completed my M.A on the Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery course.
This passion has remained and when I had completed my M.A. I set up a studio in London, then in 2003 moved back to W.Sussex and established my studio where I work from today. I am proud member of Design Nation, The Sussex Guild, a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Pewterers, a member of the Crafts Council directory of selected makers and in 2023 was very proud to become a Qest Scholar (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust).
I design and make contemporary pewter homeware, sculptures and also work with clients to make bespoke pewter commissions. All of my designs are individual and sculptural in style. I use many of the traditional pewtersmithing skills to produce my designs and I pass on these skills by running pewter workshops in a variety of pewter techniques, I also do demonstrations and talks about my work and the processes involved.
Fluid sculptural forms are the key words I use with my work, with the sculptural not being detrimental to the function of the piece. This drives the design of my work, but also my understanding of the material. I am constantly looking at ways to work with it and discover new ways to manipulate it to achieve an aspired outcome.
The desire to do this and incorporate other elements has challenged me to learn skills in new materials such as the glassblowing and concrete, which often opens the door to a new development of ideas within my work.
I have been fortunate to receive recognition for my work and have won several awards for my designs from; The Craft & Design Selected Maker, Silver Award for metal. The Craft and Design Award at Made Brighton, International Design Network Federation, New York (IDNF) and The Worshipful Company of Pewterers.
You can see a talk about me, my work and my studio here that I did for The Worshipful Company of Pewterers online Pewter Live 2021 and here to see a copy of a recent interview called ‘Perfect Pewter’ for the V&A Museum Summer 2022 magazine .
The current range of sculptural work I am working on is my series ‘Home’ and I am thrilled to be represented by the Gallery Ruup & Form with this work. It explores the feeling of belonging no matter whom or what we are.
I always enjoy learning new skills and working with new materials. A concrete casting workshop helped me to bring to life ideas I had been working on for this ‘Home Series’ I am designing and making these pieces, exploring using cast coloured concrete and combining it with the pewter and have to say loving the way they work together. There are some challenges but that is something I never shy away from! To see and read more please click here
My current pewter collection Maris has developed from a series of drawings, in particular bladderack found on the beach near to my home in W. Sussex . The pieces that I make capture the fluidity of it as it moves in the water. To read and see more from this collection please click here.
One of my recent commissions was to design and make a Bishops Crosier for the Bishop of Stepney, London.
Others include a pewter and glass bowl that was presented to the Countess of Wessex by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, the RFU (Rugby Football Union) commemorative gift. If you would like to see more of my commissions or are thinking you may possibly like to have a bespoke piece made please follow the link here
In November 2014 I was invited to The Worshipful Company of Pewterers to strike my mark at a Touchmark Ceremony. The Worshipful Company of Pewterers was established in 1478 to control of the expanding pewter trade.
On completing an apprenticeship, pewterers were required to register a ‘touchmark‘ to be stamped on their wares, so the quality of the pieces could be controlled
The ceremony is now done purely for makers to register their marks so future generations can identify pewter pieces. The ceremony involves stamping a name punch onto a pewter sheet in front of the court and the master.
I feel very honoured to know that my touch mark is now alongside the many other pewtersmiths from the last 500 years.
I have a great passion for pewter as a material and over the years I have become an expert in working with it, as well as running workshops to pass on these skills. In 2010 the publisher Crowood Press commissioned me to write a book exploring techniques, processes and designing with pewter. The book was written to enable people with some metal work experience and those who have never done any of this type of work before to gain skills so they can make their own pewter products. If you would to purchase a copy please click here.