Meet the Maker | Silvia Weidenbach

Each week we ‘meet a maker’ from a Walpole member company, shining a light on the highly skilled craftspeople, creatives and curators making British luxury products and experiences. Today, introducing Silvia Weidenbach, jewellery and Walpole Crafted mentee in 2015.

Tell us what you do:
I am a jeweller and since April 2017 I have been artist in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. During my residency I have focused on the Gilbert Collection, a luxurious buffet of extravagantly crafted ornamented objects, a visual feast. Exploring this beautiful collection is like walking through a candy shop, objects dripping with precious stones, decorated with exquisite craftsmanship, a material paradise. My work fuses old and new, based on traditional understanding and techniques combined with the use of digital tools. Inspired by these historic pieces I experiment with form, pattern, colour, process and material to create intricate jewellery pieces firmly grounded in the modern world. I also like to push the boundaries of my field by instigating creative dialogue with other artists and designers. During my residency I have collaborated with, for example, artisanal perfumer, Nicola Pozzani to create a perfume encapsulating my jewellery. I have also had the pleasure of working with a tattoo artist and created a dance performance inspired by my work. A new collaboration I am working on with an digital artist and art director Jon Emmony will be shown in “Visual Feast” ,my V&A display due to open in mid-July 2018. This display will see my creative mind and its outcomes in both contemporary jewellery and digital art alongside the historical pieces in the V&A’s Gilbert Collection.

What do you love most about your job?
I have always been inspired by our heritage and the extravagance, ornamentation and exquisite craftsmanship that it displays, but I am also intrigued by new innovative ways of making using digital technologies. The opportunity to be within the Victoria and Albert Museum, being able to handle luxurious objects that inspire me is an unparalleled experience. During my residency I have talked with experts about how and when these objects were produced, taking inspiration not only from the exquisite objects but also getting a wider understanding of the world they were produced for and the people who used them. I enjoy taking this inspiration and challenging the field of contemporary jewellery, collaborating with other artists and designers to reinterpret my creative process and appeal to all the senses.

Silvia Weidenbach invites you to attended The Meeting of Two Creative Minds: Silvia Weidenbach and Jon Emmony, a Special Open Studio at her V&A artist studio on Saturday 17 February.