Rauni Higson is one of Britain’s leading silversmiths. Originally trained in Finland, her studio is located in the dramatic landscape of Snowdonia, a rich backdrop of mountainous crags and rugged coastline that inform her work. All her pieces are made by hand and by hammer, using her contemporary interpretation of traditional skills.

In 2001, Rauni was introduced to the almost magical technique of Fold-forming by Brian Clarke in Ireland. The Arts Council of Wales first supported Rauni to train for two weeks with Brian, which had a profound effect.

Fold-forming is a simple idea, a sheet of metal is folded in two like a piece of paper, then hammered while folded, to introduce curves and distortion, which become a complex three-dimensional form when the fold is prised open. It often results in an imperfect symmetry which mimics growth patterns in nature, such as leaves, coral, fungi, seaweed, shells and ferns. The technique was developed by Charles Lewton-Brain in the 1980s.

To see the process of Fold-forming in action see the Makers’ Guild in Wales film below: