Miriam Hanid is one of Britain’s talented and up-coming young silversmiths and is the focus of an exciting capsule exhibition “Studio Silver Today” at the National Trust property Ickworth House in Suffolk from Saturday March 10th to Saturday November 3rd, 2012.

The impressive Rotunda at Ickworth, a Georgian Italinate palace, is the setting for this dynamic and fully representative display of Miriam’s work. Part of the installation of the exhibition includes Miriam’s silversmiths’ workbench, complete with tools and equipment so that as “artist in residence”, Miriam can demonstrate her skills and talk to visitors about her work and silversmithing processes.

Born in 1986, Miriam graduated from University College of Creative Arts in 2007. Since then she has won numerous awards for chasing and engraving, including Gold and Silver awards at The Goldsmiths Craftsmanship and Design Awards 2008 and 2009 and first prize in the Malcolm Appleby Creative Engraving Award 2010.

Despite being so young, Miriam is fully acquainted with all the traditional skills of a silversmith, using techniques such as chasing, repoussé and forming silver on wood. She starts on the chased decoration while the silver is flat and then builds up the form afterwards, wooden punches and formers are then used to shape the metal, complimenting the initial chasing. Miriam also combines the intricacies of hand-engraving with bolder chased forms.

Silversmithing has played its part in Miriam’s family history as in 1952, her great-grandfather, Wali-Mohamed of Nairobi, Kenya was commissioned to make two gifts for the then Princess Elizabeth. A gong and striker and a silver mounted ostrich egg teapot were presented by the Governor of Kenya to the future Queen of England. Miriam's father, an engineer, produces many different tools made from oak and beech, which Miriam uses to form curvaceous silver vessels.

Much of the inspiration for Miriam’s silver comes from the moods of the sea and her workshop is filled with sketches and photographs of the coastline of her home-town of Lowestoft – the fluid movement of water is vividly captured in many of her pieces.














The brief for a beaker, commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company as the prize for a free draw open to all visitors to the exhibition, was that it should encapsulate something from Ickworth itself. Miriam explains: “I was touched by whispers of blue painted on a Ming porcelain vase, carved leaves surrounding tall mirrors, and the sinuous grain of the Ickworth Oak Table. These all blend together to illustrate the gentle embrace of Nature's hold on Ickworth House, both past and present. The 'Leaves of Gold' tumbler evokes the strong foundation that Nature eternally provides for us, allowing communities to thrive as they have done at Ickworth House for centuries”. The commission proved an interesting challenge as in researching the beaker Miriam was forced to explore certain qualities and techniques in her style such as the use of engraved lines, detailed pattern and the influence of Japanese/Oriental Design.

It is entirely appropriate that the exhibition “Studio Silver Today” is on view at Ickworth, a property with its own rich silver heritage in the form of a sizeable and very distinguished collection of silver amassed by four generations of the Hervey family from the late 17th to early 19th century. Highlights from the collection are on show in the Silver Room across the landing from Miriam’s exhibition, providing an interesting visual link between past and future silver treasures.

A short film produced about Miriam’s residency at Ickworth, her work and her influences is on view during the exhibition. On specified Saturdays throughout the duration of the show she will be present to talk to visitors about her work and demonstrate her skills at a workbench set up within the body of the exhibition.

She will not be present on the following Saturdays: March 24th, July 21st, July 28th, September 22nd, September 29th, October 6th

From Saturday March 10 – Saturday November 3, 2012
At Ickworth House
The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, IP29 5QE
Tel: 01284 735270
Please check website for opening times.

44 Hockley Street



B18 6BH

Tel: +44 (0)121 507 0994

Company number 07258309

ICO Registration No: ZA460029