COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Christofle: In the nature of materials
Silver smithing at Christofle on Madison Avenue. © Thomai Serdari

Silver smithing at Christofle on Madison Avenue. © Thomai Serdari

In our increasingly high-tech existence, we are progressively losing touch with the tactile side of life. This is particularly true in the US, a country detached from manufacturing. Americans value their homegrown service economy and the empowerment it warrants them in becoming avid consumers of goods and experiences. Even art schools is the US are not paying much attention to materials and the crafts. We are a society of powerful albeit fast consumers.

On Friday December 7, the Christofle flagship store on Madison Avenue hosted a luncheon event to showcase the art of silver smithing. The brand’s youngest (and female) master silver smith flew in from France to demonstrate her craft and to explain to her American audience what it means to work with a bronze molded piece; what it takes to transfer the design on to it; how to use wax to facilitate the process; and how to allow the material to guide one in sculpting and solidifying the initially amorphous mass into an elegant piece of lasting value. The master, a young lady in her early 30s, who began her journey in silver smithing at the age of 16, manufactures her own tools (which she had brought with her) and spends her days sculpting at the Christofle studio in Yainville (Normandy), France.

“Listening to the sound of the hammer is as important as feeling its impact on the bronze,” the master asserted, reminding her audience of the importance all our senses play in crafting materials. Luxury is born of meticulous work that is compatible with the nature of materials used to create. It takes time to manifest and demands time to be appreciated.

 

© Thomaï Serdari