Abigail Brown

Abigail Brown

Abigail is interested in the similarities of the recurring forms and shapes that appear within the natural world and human body. The vessels that she creates are often ambiguous in their final outcome: appearing as human form and bearing similarities to forms found in nature; and yet sometimes they are illustrative, describing a particular place, feeling or object. Abigail is fascinated by the marriage of organic and structured form and I seek to create a union between the two. Recently, she is increasingly influenced by my surroundings in Cornwall, and has become interested in the idea of the body as a landscape.

Abigail creates bowls and vessels by raising and sinking flat sheets or discs of silver, using a variety of metal and wooden hammers and stakes. She often works intuitively with the material, responding to it as the piece takes shape. The spontaneous nature of this process means that each piece is unique and sculptural. The techniques are time consuming and labour intensive, a labour of love, sometimes taking weeks or months to create a single piece. This all culminates in a design ethos within Abigail's work that means she cannot justify making something that is neither useful nor beautiful, something with which she hopes admirers of my work would identify.

Abigail has had her work exhibited internationally at venues including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, Goldsmiths’ Hall and the German Goldsmiths’ House in Hanau.  In 2015 she was awarded the Bayerischer Staatspreis (Bavarian States Prize).  In December 2014 Abigail became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths’ and in June 2015 she received the Freedom of the City of London.

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  1. Large Round 'Folds' Box

    Large Round 'Folds' Box

    Fine & Sterling silver, leather lined

    75mm diameter x 60mm high

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  2. 'Kenning' Vessel

    'Kenning' Vessel

    Hammer formed, deep relief chased Learn More
  3. 'Fogou' Vessel

    'Fogou' Vessel

    Hammer formed vessel. Pierced, hammered and reticulated 'lichen', enamelled. Each of the ‘Lichen’ pieces are hand cut, formed and curated; making each item a unique and one-off artwork.

    The ‘Fogou’ Vessel was the result of a life long interest in the ancient monuments of our landscape.  Standing stones often provide habitat for lichen and moss, a plant form which is usually overlooked but is particularly interesting when studied in close detail.

    The ‘Fogou’ Vessel was create with the ancient site of Carn Euny in mind. Carn Euny, the remains of an Iron Age settlement, demonstrates one of the finest examples of a ‘fogou’. A fogou is an underground chamber specific to Cornwall.

    Cornwall has an abundance of both ancient monuments and lichen. In the course of my research I have looked at many monuments around the country including Avebury, and Holy Cairn and Torhouskie in Dumfries & Galloway, but I mainly focused on the Boscawen-Un Circle, a place that has particular resonance for me, in Cornwall where I live. The vessel is intended to evoke the idea of a monolith, a stone that has stood for generations, and feelings of ancient stillness.

    The Design Process

    The design process for this piece involved several visits to the Boscawen-Un Circle and Carn Euny village to observe, contemplate and meditate, and to document the stones through photography and sketches, particularly concentrating on their lichen growth. My observations and documentation of lichen has been extensive both on standing stones and in other environments.

    I had an idea of the form I wished to create, and although this was never intended to be an exact representation of a standing stone it is intended to symbolise that of a monolithic form. From my original sketches of vessels I then progressed to working directly with the silver.

    The lichen developed through working and experimenting directly in the material. I used numerous techniques and piercing patterns before settling on the final outcome. Many of these silver test pieces I then used to create colour tests in the enamel.

    The Production Method

    The Vessel was hand raised and planished using a variety of stakes and hammers, and then textured using a rock to beat the surface of the silver, before refining with texturing hammers. The lichen was pierced from sheet silver, hammered, reticulated, fused, and then vitreous enamel is applied & fired. The ‘lichen’ was then applied to the body of the vessel and is intended to appear as if growing on the vessel

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  4. 'Grain' Whiskey Flask & Stand

    'Grain' Whiskey Flask & Stand

    A fabricated, chased formed vessel. Learn More
  5. 'Boscawen-Un' Vessel.

    'Boscawen-Un' Vessel.

    Hammer formed vessel. Pierced, hammered and reticulated 'lichen', enamelled. Each of the ‘Lichen’ pieces are hand cut, formed and curated; making each item a unique and one-off artwork.

    This breathtaking vase was displayed at the Victoria & Albert Museum as part of a major exhibition of contemporary silverware March 2016 - July 2017.  It was shortlisted for the Schoonhoven Silver Award 2018.

    The Vessel was the result of a life long interest in the ancient monuments of our landscape.  Standing stones often provide habitat for lichen and moss, a plant form which is usually overlooked but is particularly interesting when studied in close detail.

    It was create with the ancient site of Carn Euny in mind. Carn Euny, the remains of an Iron Age settlement.

    Cornwall has an abundance of both ancient monuments and lichen. In the course of my research I have looked at many monuments around the country including Avebury, and Holy Cairn and Torhouskie in Dumfries & Galloway, but I mainly focused on the Boscawen-Un Circle, a place that has particular resonance for me, in Cornwall where I live. The vessel is intended to evoke the idea of a monolith, a stone that has stood for generations, and feelings of ancient stillness.

    The Design Process 

    The design process for this piece involved several visits to the Boscawen-Un Circle and Carn Euny village to observe, contemplate and meditate, and to document the stones through photography and sketches, particularly concentrating on their lichen growth. My observations and documentation of lichen has been extensive both on standing stones and in other environments.

    I had an idea of the form I wished to create, and although this was never intended to be an exact representation of a standing stone it is intended to symbolise that of a monolithic form. From my original sketches of vessels I then progressed to working directly with the silver.

    The lichen developed through working and experimenting directly in the material. I used numerous techniques and piercing patterns before settling on the final outcome. Many of these silver test pieces I then used to create colour tests in the enamel.

    The Production Method 

    The Vessel was hand raised and planished using a variety of stakes and hammers, and then textured using a rock to beat the surface of the silver, before refining with texturing hammers. The lichen was pierced from sheet silver, hammered, reticulated, fused, and then vitreous enamel is applied & fired. The ‘lichen’ was then applied to the body of the vessel and is intended to appear as if growing on the vessel

    Learn More
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