Images curtsey of Hondartza Fraga
Becoming silver – a before (the Bedale hoard) Beyond Scale Gallery
pre silver – present wax
a waning wax waiting to be lost
to be found again as silver;
“as wax I am the the shape maker; a material for fingers to play with
ideas become solids, I offer malleable possibility
I am the pre material, the material before
a forfeited material I will be destroyed by the material that will replace me
my vanishing act will be complete, I will not to return
but until then, I remain unaltered; unsilvered”
the admix crucible
“The parts, scraps, shavings, nicks, unused forms – I take them all
Old, new and the barely there are all welcome
I hold these silver bits whilst they melt, fuse, conform to me; to form another full me
I provide this admix silver with its new shape to face the world
Its new form, its international form to travel the world”
The exhibition Becoming silver – a before (the Bedale hoard), comprises of the two pieces; pre silver – present wax and the admix crucible made as part of my current practice-led PhD research; Yorkshire Hoards – Understanding the objective/ subjective value of the objects we continue to earmark, lay, maintain, stow, put away through the artist’s edit. In response to the silver hoard this research is partly focused on; the Bedale hoard.
These pieces look to let a material and process ingrained in the life of the material life of silver speak. The lost wax, in the lost wax process of making certain metal forms, in this instance silver and the crucible container that is used to melt metals into more formalised structures. The tiny viewing visitors to the admix crucible can experience a vision of the journey much of the silver past and present has undertaken – it was more often than not reused, melted down and reformed. The 27 silver ingots that are part of the Bedale hoard will have gone through this process and now the tiny visitors to the Beyond Scale Gallery also find themselves in the middle of this admix melting pot.
Pre silver – present wax, looks to preserve (for a time) the materials that are used and lost in processes that make other materials materialise. These pre-materials play an important role for both maker and end material. Through the shape and the decoration they work with the maker to mark out the final materials’ potentiality. For many silver forms, wax has once been and now is their invisible skeleton.