I have worked on a variety of pewter commissions such as: A Crosier for the Bishop of Stepney, sculptures, communion set for The Carey Baptist Church, corporate gifts for the RFU (Rugby Football Union), wedding presents and many more.
I am able to work to commission whether it is a gift for a special person, occasion, a trophy to commemorate an event, a corporate gift, larger commission or an anniversary gift. (Did you know, tin is traditionally used to commemorate a 10th wedding anniversary as pewter is above 95% tin so it is an ideal gift.) Please do contact me to discuss a possible pewter commission without any obligation.
Before starting we will discuss what type of pewter commission you would like, for example candlesticks and if there are other examples of my work that you particularly like the style of. It may be details taken from various pieces or you may already have an idea that you would like developed into my distinctive style and what budget you have in mind.
Meeting to discuss a pewter commission is so much easier, we can do it in person at my studio or if you live further away via zoom. Before committing to the commission I will do some drawings so you will have an idea what the final piece will look like. Once a design is decided upon I will keep you updated on its development this may be through emails or workshop visits to ensure you are happy with how it is progressing. Some commissions can be very personal pieces and I am very mindful of this and will work closely with the you to make a design and ensure you are happy with the final piece.
If commissioning a piece of pewter homeware or award these usually start from approximately £300 the larger sculptural pieces from my ‘Home’ series £1500. All commissions are bespoke so please note I will not copy designs.
Recent commissions: In 2020 I was asked to collaborate with some fellow Sussex Guild members to design a new crosier for the Bishop of Stepney, I designed and made the hook part at the top.
I began researching the information I had been forwarded – a poem ‘As Dragonflies Catch Fire’ by Gerard Manly-Hopkins, jewellery with a textured finish, a picture of a kingfisher’s wings spread flying away from the water. I then spoke to the Bishop Joanne Grenfell to gain a better understanding of what were the important aspects of the design, functionality and any practical issues that I should be aware of.
I did some initial sketches working with ideas from the poem and the kingfisher. Working with the Bishop, we finally reached the design shown below of a kingfisher flying up, its wings outstretched and more exaggerated to make it more symbolic of a cross. Seeing its beak stretching towards the edge, the Bishop commented, “I think that it is right that the beak doesn’t quite touch, which gives it a sense of work still to be done. We are all reaching for heaven . . . “
I explored various ways of making the kingfisher, such as all in pewter, use of glass and the option of incorporating anodised aluminium. I wanted to try and capture the beauty and iridescence of the kingfisher, so that as the Bishop was walking down the aisle, it was visible to all the congregation. It was important both sides were detailed for people sat either side of the aisle.
I decided to use aluminium, having shared a workshop with jewellery designer Lorraine Gibby, who specialises in Anodised aluminium I was aware of its properties. Lorraine with her expertise, guided me through making some samples to show the Bishop. Using the aluminium resolved several problems – the weight and creating the dramatic flash of colour, like a Kingfisher does in real life.
There were many challenges making this piece, but that is what I love, finding solutions to design problems and using the strengths of the materials involved. Making the hook out of pewter involved some thinking of how to ensure it was solid and strong enough to endure years of use, but not too heavy, so the whole crosier was balanced when attached to the shaft.
Many hours were spent sculpting and making the details flowing around and along the crosier. The designs were inspired from the line in the poem, ‘As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame’.
Finally, along the hook, I duplicated the textured detail that the Bishop has on her ceremonial jewellery. The rest of the crosier was then made and all assembled and placed in a handmade case to keep it protected.
– “Thank you so much for giving all your time, imagination and skill, it has been a pleasure working with you.”
– “It really is wonderful, the crozier! At its first outing on Sunday, it was much admired. I loved carrying it, this is something that I will treasure for all my ministry. I am very grateful to all of you for using your tremendous skill to make something unique and special.”