Kim Downes
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July Open Studios

Cambridge Open Studios 2019
Cambridge Open Studios 2019
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Hand-forged Silver Jewellery and Silversmithing
I am a silversmith who adores the feel of silver, its colour, its weight, its malleability, its timeless quality and the many textures it can display.
  • Commissions Taken
  • Visitors All Year
  • Tuition Given

My Story .......

Portrait Kim Downes Silversmith

I trained at Birmingham Poly, graduating in 1984 with a degree in 3 Dimensional Design, specialising in Silversmithing and Jewellery.  But for me it was always mostly silversmithing!  And then as young 20-somethings do I went to work for M&S as a buyer! In the intervening years, I always looked in local adult education to find silversmithing evening classes but there were none.  Jewellery yes, but that wasn’t where I wanted to go, because you see hammers have always been my favourite tool, and you need stakes and anvils for silversmithing, or else milling machines - neither of which were in abundant supply I discovered.

 

So I fed my creative mind with ceramics courses which were easy to find - and which has always been another love of mine. 

 

So passed by 30 years .... and now living in Chatteris Cambridgeshire, I started working for Stewart Hearn who makes stunning handblown glass, and is also a member of Cambridge Open Studios.  Surrounded by his and his wife Kathryn's encouragement and support I began to wonder if I could perhaps take up silversmithing again.  Visiting open studios in 2017, I came across a silversmith Tricia Taylor, and a jeweller Gabriella del Valle who both encouraged me to start up again.  Having found the contacts I was able to attend courses that helped me start again ....

 

Re-awakening old skills holding hammers, annealing silver, controlling the direction of the metal, preparing & cleaning my tools, designing pieces.

 

What a joy!  To realise a dream I had never imagined I could even begin.  I have grabbed my pen and put into words just how much I love silver as a metal.  Always have - but never worded it. Its colour, its malleability, the colours it displays matt or shiny, smooth or textured, clean or tarnished!

 

So to describe myself, I'd say this is a huge but very exciting step for me to take in becoming part of Open Studios.  It concretes myself as an artist, it drives me to a place of thinking about an exhibition of my work, a selling exhibition at that!  It offers me opportunity to think of what people might want to purchase, and how much they might want to spend.

 

I have been very blessed - and have already received commissions, an endorsement of my products.  I am at the beginning of my journey, traveling a path of creating silver, so far both jewellery and spoons.  The doors are only just opening ... why don’t you take a look and come inside???