Meet the Maker
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. Rauni is proud to have been tutored by a number Master Craftsmen such as Michael Lloyd, Rod Kelly, Christopher Lawrence and Cynthia Eid and believes the passing on skills and techniques to future silversmiths is fundamental to the future of the industry.
Rauni has personally mentored a number of up and coming silversmiths and pioneered the Contemporary British Silversmiths Skills Training Programme which launched in 2016.
“Silver is a magical material that responds to light like nothing else, except perhaps the moon. It has entranced humans forever, and its extraordinary malleability means that almost any form that can be imagined can be realised, with enough time, skill and patience.
I fell in love with silver when I first used it over thirty years ago, and I know I’ll never tire of it as a material to create with. I seek to represent the feel of the landscape and my experience of it, my connection to it, it’s my love letter to Snowdonia.”
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. Developed by Charles Lewton-Brain in the 1980’s, fold-forming is a simple idea – a sheet of metal is folded in two like a piece of paper and hammered while folded, to introduce curves and distortion, which become a three-dimensional form when prised open. It often results in an imperfect symmetry that mimics growth patterns in nature, such as leaves, coral, fungi, seaweed, shells and ferns.