August 09 2011
Alex Ramsay is a silversmith with a passion for hand-blown glass. The idea of combining the two materials might have come about for rather prosaic reasons – using glass meant that she could make larger pieces without needing huge amounts of silver – but the results are pure poetry.
Ramsay’s work ranges from bespoke jewellery to architectural wall pieces but it is her Nitrate Negative Series that’s really getting her noticed. Inspired by the beautiful colours of silver nitrate photography and consisting of double-skinned silver objects decorated with lace-like cutaway patters (which she makes by hand-piercing the silver) and corresponding pieces in blown glass, this collection plays on the contrasts between the two materials to explore ideas of reflection and shadow (our pair of pictures show Nitrate Negative bowls and vase).
Nitrate Negative may be a series, but each piece is unique and made to commission. “The work is always very personal,” Ramsay says. “The patterns, for example, are often a response to a place that has meaning to the client – so the making process is always a collaboration.”
And while her portfolio consists mainly of sculptural bowls (from about £1,500) and more functional vessels, including salt and pepper pots and spoons, she will consider pretty much anything. “The question is not what the piece is,” she explains, “but whether or not the commission will be creatively challenging.”