At SCA the Open Day was a success - and I couldn't help but think of my visit there in 1992 as a Year 12 student looking at the options for tertiary study.
I'm pleased to say the bells are finished and that I've scheduled photography later in the week.
Now I'll concentrate on getting my products finished in volume and out on the market. To give you some background I'll include some text compiled for the launch of the Australia Council's 'Maker to Manufacturer to Market' Initiative (MMM) in May this year:
The support of the MMM Grant has enabled Oliver to develop his stainless steel production cutlery. He began work in this area in late 2003:
"Seeking to combine the beauty and warmth of the handmade with the strengths of industrial production methods, I began to investigate production techniques that were compatible with my hand making skills. I approached John Kell, Managing Director of Hycast Metals - leaders in the field of investment casting. The result was a partnership in which we created a series of stainless steel utensils produced in multiple through the ceramic shell casting process."
Today we see a preview of the next generation of Oliver's production designs: Arc cheese knife, Dorsal serving blade and Petal spoons. These embody a refinement in the union of industrial production and hand finishing.
"My passion is for making. In moving into the design realm I have found this enthusiasm must inform all aspects of the process of producing multiples. That is, I have quickly found that I need to apply the same creativity and problem-solving I use in making unique objects to all aspects of the production design process. Conversely, aspects of the creation of multiple objects now steers my thinking in exploring functional and aesthetic questions in hand-forged silver objects. The best of craft and industry is my ideal."
My challenge now is to establish a sustainable business which enables me to work both as a craftsperson and designer. This is a significant task with many facets, but in essence it comes down to making things and selling them. I feel comfortable with the making part but the selling area now needs attention.
In terms of making, for me one of the attractions of silversmithing was its universality - you could shift in scale and material, it covered functional and aesthetic aspects, toolmaking and problemsolving were addressed. I felt that from this foundation anything was possible, I could make whatever I wanted. By broadening my approach to making objects to include industrial processes and outsourcing this is only more true...
So on one hand anything can be done, yet I also try to use limitations as guidelines for what I create. More about this next time...