Shining, steely examples of our industrial heritage

Karina Gill's  Silver Etched Bowl 'Crown',  from Aesthetics of Manufacture,  Galvanize Sheffield 2013
Karina Gill's Silver Etched Bowl 'Crown', from Aesthetics of Manufacture, Galvanize Sheffield 2013

The celebration of 100 Years of Stainless Steel gives an added focus to the fifth Galvanize Festival of Contemporary Metal which opens on Friday.

The festival, which runs throughout May at various venues in Sheffield, aims to spark new interest in contemporary metal design and give visitors an insight into the city’s vibrant metalwork industry.

Galvanize Sheffield seeks to provide an opportunity to see and purchase metalwork, meet contemporary designers, learn about the making process and hear about the latest innovations.

The festival for 2013 features more than 50 designers as part of a programme produced in a partnership by Ruskin Mill Trust, Sheffield Assay Office, Yorkshire Artspace, Museums Sheffield, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust along with input from manufacturers and independent makers.

More talented makers are being showcased than ever before. Among them is Drew Markou designer of jewellery and metal objects, whose work is on show at the MADE North Gallery at Yorkshire Artspace as part of the Future in the Making exhibition.

He is also teaking part in the Pop Up Jewellery Day, a selling event at Persistence Works on Saturday, May 18, where he will show a documentary about his attempt to produce a record number of 100 pieces of contemporary jewellery in just one day.

At Butcher Works Gallery the exhibition, Aesthetics of Manufacture, is bringing together examples of highly engineered, quality industrial production and the original one-off hand crafted object and looks at what connections can be made between these apparently diverse working groups of metalsmiths.

At Sheffield Hallam University’s SIA Gallery STAIN-LESS showcasing jewellery and body adornments in a variety of materials using old and new technologies. Local, national and international jewellery designers are represented in this exhibition curated by the Association for Contemporary Jewellery.

In the Millennium Gallery, Little Gems – Ten Years On is displaying the work of the 19 early-career silversmiths selected for the Starter Studio Programme at Yorkshire Artspace and commissioned by the Sheffield Assay Office to produce a piece for the city’s public collection metalwork.

As in previous years, the festival will be offering a range of popular activities including studio and factory tours, and workshops for the public to make jewellery, spoons and bowls, using traditional metalworking techniques.

A series of public talks and events celebrating the region’s identity and heritage goes under the title, In The City.

Mir Jansen, Chair of the Galvanize Sheffield Steering Group, said: “The festival gives us the opportunity to showcase the wealth of talent and fantastic innovations in the city. Metal is as important to us as Shakespeare is to Stratford and we want to share our metal heritage, cultural excellence and ongoing creativity with the rest of the UK and beyond”.