There are few more cheering things to do than visit Goldsmiths’ Fair, which takes place every autumn in the company’s magnificent hall in the City of London. There, year after year, is refreshing evidence of an extraordinarily rich pool of creativity. Though the fair is mostly known for its jewellery, this year in particular it is worth seeking out the functional pieces – vases, jugs and so on – that are often so striking they seem like works of art. Many would make splendidly original presents for all those birthdays, weddings and anniversaries that are apt to furrow the brow.
Designers to look out for include Juliette Bigley, who creates delectable “everyday companions”; her gilded salt and pepper bowls (£1,200 a pair) are especially elegant. Ben Ryan, too, transforms household objects into things of great beauty and his sumptuous salt and pepper grinders (£17,500, pictured) in sterling silver and gold gilt are stunning works of contemporary design. Also check out Adi Toch’s Plump Segmented Vessel (£1,400), a sculptural silver bowl-cum-jug, Yusuke Yamamoto’s hammered-silver vase (£4,200), inspired by his love of trees, and Angela Cork’s silver Blown Vessel (£3,500), another vase that is a masterpiece of understated elegance.
Goldsmiths’ Fair runs from September 22 to October 5, showcasing the work of 170 designers at prices between £1,500 and £50,000. But if you can’t make it, the website is brilliant and will direct you to a host of wonderful exhibitors, most of whom can be visited at their own ateliers.