Kevin Grey

  • NEWmg 8B 0247.jpg Patera, 2014. 925 Silver. Photo credit: Maison Gerard.
  • 7Cygnus copy.jpg Cygnus, 2014. 925 Silver. Photo credit: Steve Underhill.
  • 69c copy 2.jpg Serriform Black, 2013. 925 Silver. Photo credit: Richard Valencia.
  • NEWmg 8D 0257.jpg Patera, 2014. 925 Silver. Photo credit: Maison Gerard.

What inspires me

I spent nearly 25 years working with various metals hand-making parts for luxury cars. This is where I learned the majority of my metal working skills, particularly TIG welding. Since retraining as a silversmith, I couple traditional metalworking skills with new technology. Individual strips of silver are hand-formed before being joined to create sculptural objects. Contrasting smooth and jagged edges, creates surface decoration and light and shade, and shows the beauty of silver as a precious material.

Making in the Midlands

My route to silversmithing has been influenced by the Midlands - in the sense of the industrial heritage and skills that existed here from the industrial revolution onwards. As an apprentice sheet metal worker I learnt skills that even at that time (mid eighties) were dying out. Some of the things I learnt in industry I found to be new and untested once I entered the world of silversmithing, via training at Birmingham School of Jewellery from 2007 until 2009.

Being able to have a workshop in the Jewellery Quarter means I have instant access to equipment and materials, also its good to meet other creative people who work in the Quarter.

What has changed most about the crafts in the last thirty years

In general more computer-aided software is being used to produce craft across all disciplines.
So many people don't realise how things are made - I think there is a fascination for people in the making process, revealing the techniques, tools and time it takes. I particularly enjoyed working with young people on the apprentice taster days organised as part of Made in the Middle 2012. I am interested in how making can help young people find focus and pursue something that provides a sense of achievement - the feeling that anything can be made.