January 19 2011
As a good Modernist, I am generally inclined to favour function over form, but very occasionally I come across an object so beautiful that its usefulness or otherwise becomes irrelevant. My set of silver SnowBowls is one such object. Created by Scottish silversmith Adrian Hope, these delicate vessels may be technically capable of holding something (pistachio nuts, loose change, spare buttons), but their real role in life is to sit on my sitting room bookshelves looking fabulous.
I discovered Hope and his SnowBowls at Origin, the London Craft Fair, in 2009 and commissioned a set of seven on the spot. Hand-raised from 958 Britannia silver using wooden tools (wood provides a softer finish than metal), the bowls range in diameter from a jewel-like 50mm to an impressive 140mm. Smooth and imperfectly round (imperfection, I believe, is one of the chief joys of handmade objects), the bowls are a pleasure to hold and I find arranging them a daily delight. Yesterday I sat them one inside the other to form a nest of concentric circles and today I have them clustered loosely together, large juxtaposed against small. Tomorrow I shall gather them all up and wash them in warm, soapy water, which, given their tactility, is far less of a chore than it sounds.
Adrian Hope is available for commission. Prices vary depending on the price of silver, but currently a set of seven SnowBowls costs around £3,400.