Build Blog

London Treasures - Silvia Weidenbach Residency At The V&A

Story added 19th Apr 2017

Snuffbox: Maker Unknown, St Petersburg 1820. Chased gold, silver settings, diamonds and cabachon turquoises

Build Jewellery Tutor Silvia Weidenbach has been announced as the first Resident for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Rosalind and Arthur Gilbert Collection.

The Gilbert Collection holds a renowned selection of British and European gold and silverware, considered masterpieces of craftsmanship.  The V&A’s website describes it as containing ‘some of the most beautiful objects ever made, many in precious materials, and often on a small scale’. It is in particular famed for the selection of snuffboxes made of gold and silver, highly decorated with precious stones, enamels and mosaics; these intricately detail objects have been providing inspiration for artists and designers since they went on display.

Image below: Snuffbox: Neuber, Johann Christian

• Late 18th century

• Chased gold, inlaid lapis lazuli, agate and hardstones, glass micromosaic

Snuffbox Neuber, Johann Christian late 18th Century

Announcing their first Artist-in-Residence, Silvia will be based at the Victoria and Albert Museum from April to October 2017. A contemporary jewellery designer and maker, works in the field of object, adornment and event; her jewellery engages in particular with the subject of beauty, the precious and the ugly, in detailed and complex ways and in various media. Using digital technologies in her work, she fuses high-tech production processes with her own traditional skill-set of gemstone-setting, enamelling, casting, electroforming, and metalsmithing.

During her residency Silvia will apply her design and make ethos to exploring the highly decorative snuffboxes in the Gilbert Collection and their histories,  in order to produce her own 21st century chest: we’re hugely excited to see how the project develops!

Celebrating this wonderful opportunity  Build’s London Treasure’s: Designing Jewellery through Museum Collections’ (Course Code: VV412) will run over 8 sessions and be taught by Silvia during her residency, encompassing visits to the collection offering students the unique opportunity to explore the collection first-hand with her guidance.  Using analogue and digital tools in activities at the museum learners will draw inspiration from the patterns, textures, materials and processes in the collection, before returning to the jewellery studio at Build, where a series of research and design exercises will guide the development, design and making of jewellery pieces sympathetic in ethos, material or technique to the collection. The course will culminate in a showcase of the work in the Build Foyer.

Image below: Snuffbox - Gold, engraved, and engine turned with enamel and diamond.

Diamond Snuffbox

View our full range of jewellery courses at Build.