Miriam Hanid in Guernsey

My first steps

I began my journey into silversmithing at the age of four, when I often loved to paint and draw. One day I used the spiked end of a large umbrella to ‘engrave’ bold letters and curved shapes on to the hallway wall of our family home. I was pleased with my outpouring of self-expression but it was to be some years before I was to experiment with engraving again!

Landscape 1 – Mixed media and oil on canvas, 54 x 36cm
Landscape 1 – Mixed media and oil on canvas, 54 x 36cm

Growing into my own style

At school I pursued my love of painting, and gradually moved towards a 3D approach by working in mixed media, adding collaged elements to oil paints, watercolours and oil pastels to produce textured pieces. On reflection, the bold colours and designs at this time in my life shaped the style of my current work and allowed me to more fully explore my creative approach. Click on an image below to view the paintings gallery.

From 2D to 3D

My introduction to 3D work was through an A-level art project in which I created a triangular Art Nouveau-inspired lamp in leaded glass. I instinctively felt that 3D work was what I wanted to pursue and after my A-Levels I began studying for a degree in Three Dimensional Design (Metalwork and Jewellery) from the University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham, graduating in 2007.

Bold Experiments

While at Farnham I was introduced to chasing and repoussé and began working with large sheets of metal, approaching the pieces freely, as I would with a painting. From 2007 to 2008 I attended the Post-Graduate Training Course for Jewellers and Silversmiths at Bishopsland. This was a milestone on my creative path, and is where I developed the chasing, forming and engraving techniques that have since become my signatures.

Click on an image below to see example of chasing on sheet metal which I completed at University College for Creative Arts at Farnham and Bishopsland Educational Trust.

Inspired by the Masters

In 2009 I spent a week studying engraving with Malcolm Appleby, which I found to be transformative – full of new experiences and approaches to working with silver. He introduced me to the hand-engraving technique that has enabled me to add unique highlights and at times intricate detail to my pieces. As a member of the Hand Engravers Association, and through the Goldsmiths Company Master Craftsman Internship Scheme, I have been fortunate to travel to Malcolm’s workshop most summers and be inspired by his original use of silversmithing and his engraving skills.

My Current Path

I have been working as a professional silversmith since 2008, creating pieces for private clients and public commissions, including the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Eton College, New College Oxford, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Museum of Wales.

My work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions across the UK and internationally, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, KunstHalle Wurth, Germany and Liang Yi Museum, Hong Kong ; ‘Collect’ at the New Saatchi Gallery; The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh;  Inorghenta, Germany;  Petronas Towers, Malaysia; and Häme Castle, Finland.

Whirlpool Rosewater Bowl, fine silver, 40 x 40 x 8cm
Whirlpool Rosewater Bowl, fine silver, 40 x 40 x 8cm

In 2009 my signature Whirlpool Rosewater Bowl was awarded a Gold Award in Chasing and ‘Best Junior’ Award in The Goldsmiths Craftsmanship and Design Awards .

In 2010 my large centrepiece ‘Undulations’ was awarded 3rd place in the public’s favourite prize in the Schoonhoven Silver Award, The Netherlands.

Undulations Centrepiece, Fine silver, 68 x 39 x 12cm
Undulations Centrepiece, Fine silver, 68 x 39 x 12cm

A Commission for Royalty!

In 2012 I was asked to produce an engraved silver band as part of a dressed walking stick that was presented to the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee.  In Kenya exactly sixty years earlier in 1952, my great-grandfather made two gifts for the Queen when she visited the country. I feel honoured to be part of a lineage of craftsmanship and engineering within my family.

Many inspirational people have contributed to my journey so far, providing exciting opportunities, challenging projects and encouraging me with my work.  I am firmly of the opinion that good relationships and heartful connections with people add richness to my life’s work and an underlying significance to my creative voice. I look forward to a visually vibrant and dynamic future, making works in silver that I hope will enrich and inspire their owners for many years to come.

Visit the Inspiration, Chasing and Engraving pages to find out about my methodology. You might also enjoy reading about My Vision. Please join the mailing list to be kept up to date with latest news and exhibitions.