Historic Deerfield Silversmithing Demonstration

I will be demonstrating classic silversmithing on Saturday, September 30th from 10:30-4:00 at the Historic Deerfield colonial silversmith shop on Old Main Street, Deerfield, Ma. I will be working on several silver projects throughout the day, showing a wide variety of tools and techniques of the lost art.

For those who have not visited Historic Deerfield’s shop, it is a faithfully recreated example of a colonial silversmith shop. It evokes the feeling, upon entering, that Paul Revere may have just walked out the back door. The historic village will have many other activities, as well as many original houses filled with the finest of early furnishings and objects. Well worth the drive!

Hope to see you there.

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Patriots Day Silversmithing Demonstrations

We made it to Spring here, though it doesn’t look or feel like it yet! I trust it will be warmer as we approach Patriots Day.

I have two events coming in celebration of the day. First, I will be demonstrating and discussing silversmithing at the Concord, Museum in Concord, Ma on Saturday April 15th, as part of their Patriots Day Weekend festivities. There will be a variety of other activities going on as well. Among them will be an assembly of a company of Concord Minute Men on the lawn demonstrating a variety of skills. Should be a fun day!

The following Saturday, April 22nd, I will be doing a similar program at the colonial Silversmith Shop at Historic Deerfield, in conjunction with the Patriots Day Revolutionary Muster and Parade. Their will be an encampment of colonial soldiers with a battery of cannons, along with the muster and parade. Another great day!

Check their websites for more details, or contact  me at stevesmithers@stevesmithers.com or at 413-625-2994.

Also, stay tuned for news on my Silversmithing class at the Nantucket Historical Associations’ 1800 House on July 19th-21st. Contact them or me for further details.

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Presidents Day Celebration at the Clark Art Institute

This coming Presidents Day, Monday, February 20th, there will be a Presidents Day Celebration at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate and discuss the lost art of Early American silversmithing as part of this exciting Family Event. Among the offerings at the Clark will be special colonial foods, metal art activities, and a musical performance. The newly created Morris and Burrows Gallery will be open as well, with a new installation of the Decorative Arts Collection of the Clark.

Hours are from 11:00 – 4:00. Hope to see you there!

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Demonstration and exhibit Dec. 3rd, 2016

I’ve been invited to demonstrate silver and brass smithing at the Glass Studio of Ed Branson this weekend, and am delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of this exciting event.

Ed is one of America’s great glassblowers, and his Open House where he demonstrates glassblowing and shows his wonderful work has become a  wonderful Ashfield Holiday tradition for many. The hours are from 10:00-4:00  and his studio is located at 634 Bellus Road.

Hope to see you there at what promises to be a festive event!

 

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The American Craftsman Show in Ridgefield

This weekend, Nov. 4th and 5th, the American Craftsman Show is again taking place at the Lounsberry House in Ridgefield, Ct.

As you may have noticed, I will unfortunately not be showing our latest works there this year. It was a difficult decision to make, since I have been coming to Wilton, and more recently Ridgefield since 1991, but it seemed like it was the right time to take a year off. I will very much miss the opportunity to see so many loyal friends after all these years, but I hope and trust that our paths will cross again before long.

My son Chris and I have been working on a number of new pieces this past year, including brass chandeliers, silver cups and beakers, and silver flatware.  Wewill be putting these up on our website soon, and I hope you won’t hesitate to call or email with any requests or questions.

Thanks so much for all your support and kind words. Talk to you soon!

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Recent Projects

 

It has been an eventful year here at the Apple Valley shop, with some memorable projects and commissions. My son Chris and I have had the opportunity, thanks to several of our customers who collect our work, to make two full size sterling silver candle chandeliers. Though we have made quite a few silver wall sconces, these are the first chandeliers of silver in over 30 years of making hand hammered brass and bronze lighting.

Silver Chandelier blog

Another highlight of the year, and indeed of my long career, was being asked to make a new silver plaque for the Massachusetts State House cornerstone time capsule.  The time capsule was originally placed in the cornerstone in 1795  by Paul Revere,  Grand Master of the Freemasons, Samuel Adams, then governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The conservators of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston removed it in January, and recommended us as the ones to create a new plaque to be replaced with the original contents, including Revere’s original silver plaque. This reenactment of the original ceremony took place this past June, and was a sight to behold, and included 1300 Masons in full parade, following a team of white horses pulling the cornerstone, and a 21 gun cannon salute. The ceremony included many dignitaries and legislators including speeches by Governor Charlie Baker and Grand Master Harvey Waugh of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Freemasons, with several thousand people looking on, including several hundred 5th and 6th Grade students.

Another recent project is a replica of the historic Shawnee Peace Pipe, one of three given by William Henry Harrison at the Greenville treaties of 1814. It now resides in the museum of the Shawnee Prairie Preserve in Greenville, Ohio.  The ceremony took place on the original site of the signing, surrounded by the 250-year-old oak trees which watched over the 1814 event. Many current chiefs and representatives of the various original tribes attended the gathering, which was a truly powerful and meaningful experience. Many stories and gifts were exchanged, and I was so grateful to be included in the solemn but warm gathering after the ceremony.

We were also commissioned by Historic Deerfield to create a silver chocolate pot for the Museum Store collection. It was inspired by the magnificent piece made by Boston master silversmith Zachariah Brigden in 1760. It was quite a challenge to do justice to such a masterpiece, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to make this and other replicas from the great Silver Collection of Historic Deerfield.

 

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Fall News: Historic Deerfield & American Craftsman show

It has been an active year here since my last posting, with a number of exciting and challenging projects completed or in progress.

The silversmithing workshops which I taught at North Bennet Street School, Snow Farm, and the 1800 House on Nantucket were all well attended. The students  created many interesting and beautiful pieces to take home, and all in all, it seemed to be a lively experience for all, including the teacher!

This summer I completed work on an exciting educational project with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  I had the great opportunity and pleasure to envision and create a display of tools of the trade, and pieces in various stages of development, as part of  the groundbreaking  Artist Demonstration Toolbox Cart project. These museum carts, which are periodically rolled into the various galleries and exhibits, represent the arts of painting, sculpture, furniture making, and now silversmithing.  The goal is to help visitors to the Museum gain a deeper understanding of how the masterpieces in the collection were created, from start to finish.

I will be in the Historic Deerfield  silversmith shop Sunday, October 5th from 10-4 for a silversmithing demonstration.  Its well worth the trip to see the authentic recreation of a colonial silversmiths shop, right next to their wonderful silver collection, as well as all the other houses in Old Deerfield.

Later this Fall, I will be showing our lighting and tableware at an exciting new show in Ridgefield, Connecticut.   The American Craftsman Show will take place Friday evening through Sunday, November 6th-8th at the Lounsbury House, a beautiful historic estate, and promises to be an exciting weekend. Hope to see you there.

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News from the Bench: New Workshops!

Welcome to a new feature on our growing website,  which will focus on the latest happenings at the Smithers and Son shop here at the top of Apple Valley in Ashfield, Massachusetts. We are fortunate to have a wide variety of exciting projects and commissioned pieces in the works. Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with a number of great curator/scholars and museums.  For all of us, passing on the knowledge of the lost arts is an important part of the mission/calling. This year I will be once again offering workshops in classic metalsmithing. Our classes are tailored to students of all experience levels, including those with no previous experience.

  Our first offering for this year is approaching quickly. I will be teaching a weekend workshop:  Introduction to Holloware in Bronze, Brass, and Sterling Silver, at the storied North Bennet Street School, situated in the historic North End of Boston.  The class will take place on April 5th and 6th from 8:30-4:30 each day.

  Later this spring, we will once again be teaching at the beautiful Snow Farm in Williamsburg, Mass. This workshop, Creating Objects of Beauty and Function in Metal, will take place from June 2nd-6th.

Nantucket Island will be the scene for our next workshop, Silversmithing a Nantucket Spoon. The Nantucket Historical Society sponsored class will take place in the period 1800 House on August 4th and 5th.

Contact us for information on registration, upcoming events, and come back for stories about some of our latest works.

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