V&A permanent collection

In 2024, the V&A Museum bought ‘Chockstones (I)’ for its permanent silver collection. 

Chockstones (I) by Rauni Higson

“It’s particularly pleasing when the purchasing curator independently selects for the permanent collections of an important museum what the maker herself views as their most aesthetically successful piece of work to date. I can’t wait to see it in the V&A galleries.”

Dr. Elizabeth Goring, Curator of ‘Mastery; Women in Silver’

“I’ve watched the development of your silversmithing for many years now and you have reached new heights in the last few years. Artistically, but also technically”

Dr. Elizabeth Goring


Rebecca Knott, Curator of Metal 1900 to now, the V&A Museum

The first piece of a new body of work, first shown in the ‘Mastery; Women in Silver’ exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre, 2021 has been acquired by the V&A for its permanent silver collection.

Inspired by my love of rocks (Lithophilia) and rock climbing, based on close observation of fissures in rocky crags, on a micro and macro scale. Chockstones are loose pebbles that have become permanently stuck in cracks, when, as three-dimensional jigsaw pieces, they find their perfect fit.

Chockstones are the origin of modern climbing protection. Early adventurers threaded rope around these wedged stones, and then began carrying a pocketful of useful pebbles to place on purpose.

The cracks themselves draw me, as a way ‘into’ the mountain, to the interior of the landscape (echoing a passage from my favourite book, Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain, about her life experiencing the Cairngorms).

The senses tend to be heightened while climbing, it’s a shortcut to being properly ‘present’, and especially open to observation of the micro and macro, and the two being somewhat interchangeable. The silver ‘stones’ first appeared in my ‘Glacier II’ piece for Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum of Wales. I cast the boulders for that from tiny pebbles which looked like they could have been huge boulders to a micro climber.

The piece is hammer formed, and fabricated (silver soldered together). The polished edge was formed from sheet, soldered into a hoop, carefully fitted and soldered to the ‘landscape’ top. The crack/fissure was sketched and sawn out by hand. The vertical ‘rocky’ sides of the fissure were textured with self-made textured hammers. The ‘stones’ are sand cast from carefully chosen pebbles, recycling offcuts of silver. They were fitted and soldered into the crack to give the piece structural strength, while appearing fragile.

‘Chockstones (I)’ is in the permanent collection of the V&A Museum, London. 

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London is the world’s largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. The Museum is dedicated to the power of creativity. Its mission is to champion design and creativity in all its forms, advance cultural knowledge, and inspire makers, creators and innovators everywhere, sharing a 5,000 year old story of creativity. 

The V&A holds the National Collection of British silver, and where you can see a greater range of objects than in any other public collection worldwide.

If you would like to find out more about the commissioning process, I’m happy to have an informal no-obligation chat. Please email me (