All items offered by Solway Silver are handmade by Sybil Williamson. Sybil is based in Dumfries and Galloway. She makes pieces in silver and also works with textiles.
'I enjoy working with silver clay and many of my current pieces are crafted from silver clay. I also use sterling silver in some of my work.'
Silver clay is a manufactured product. It is made from particles of pure silver. This silver has been reclaimed, a lot of it from equipment used in technology industries, film industries and also from equipment used for medical purposes. To make the clay the silver is made into powder sized particles which are then suspended in an organic binder and water. The pieces are formed in clay then fired in a kiln. During the firing process the binder and the moisture is burned off and the particles of silver sinter into a solid piece. This piece is 99.9% pure silver and it can be hallmarked at an Assay Office. Solway Silver pieces are hallmarked at the Edinburgh Assay Office. Silver clay is non-toxic and very versatile to work with. Each piece is individually handcrafted.
'No two pieces are entirely identical, even when the same mould has been used.'
This is reclaiming, recycling and reusing a precious metal. Any gemstones used are laboratory created gemstones.
'This is a sustainable method of creating original pieces in fine silver without using any more of the Earth's natural resources.'
Sybil is inspired by landscapes and wildlife, particularly that of Dumfries and Galloway.
'A lifelong interest in the natural world provides the starting point for my work. Walking on the shores of the Solway Firth has given the ideas for the work on a coastal theme and scuba diving has allowed me to get closer to marine life in their natural habitat, enabling me to develop these ideas. Walking in the hills and woodlands of the area has led to a range of wildlife themed pieces. Volunteering with a local wildlife group, has provided opportunities for detailed observation and this has informed my work.'
The selection of textiles used in the homewares range also reflect this.