5 May 2016

Artisans at Grays

London Craft Week is in full swing and will run until 7 May, showcasing exceptional craftsmanship from around the world. With more than 130 events spread across five of the capital's key artisanal areas, it will comprise of demonstrations, workshops and exhibits featuring the products of imagination, individuality, passion and skill. Watch in awe as a variety of creative makers get crafty in their chosen field.

At Grays we have our very own specialist craftsmen: Bennett & Thorogood are freehand quality engravers (since 1965), and are highly skilled in hand engraving all precious metals and a wide variety of objects from gold and silver jewellery to watches, tankards, napkins and umbrellas.

Few people understand the skill and attention to detail involved in the traditional craft of hand engraving. It is a field that requires specialist knowledge and substantial artistic and calligraphic skill. Even the simplest engraved details – some initials, a date, or just a few decorative lines – can give personality, life and sentiment to an inanimate object. Historically it has been used in both practical and decorative applications; from hunting arms to royal seals, coins and bank notes to jewellery, its influences are all around us.

Example of engraving on a tankard, by Bennett & Thorogood
Example of engraving on a wine glass, by Bennett & Thorogood

Alfred Toro repairs jewellery, specialising in restoring antique jewellery. In addition, Alfred designs and makes his own jewellery, he is skilled in the age old technique of wax carving - a fascinating way of making silver and gold jewellery by carving jewellery out of wax, then creating a mould of the wax to make a solid silver or gold version of the wax mould. 

Alfred is a 'bench jeweller' - an artisan who uses a combination of jewellery making skills to make and repair jewellery and has a larger set of skills. Bench jewellers have a great knowledge of different craft techniques such as goldsmithing and silversmithing, as well as traditional bench skills such as soldering, resizing rings and setting stones.

Wax carving of a hog by Alfred Toro

Alfred's workbench

Bennett & Thorogood | Stand 109 | Tel: 020 7408 1880
Alfred Toro | Stand 104 | Tel:  020 7495 7068

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