A Passion for Silversmithing Book Review (Oz Arts)
A memoir and a manual, beautiful photographs and detailed descriptions, like Noakes’ works, this book is pretty much perfection.
PHILIP NOAKES is the master when it comes to gold and silver and in this elegant and erudite new publication published by the Western Australian Museum. We are served up an extraordinary feast of eye-watering beauty and painstaking description of every aspect of this passion by another noted exponent of the silversmith’s art, writer and artist-jeweller Dorothy Erickson.
Although the 228 pages describe in perfect detail the traditional as well as the new and innovative techniques Noakes employs in his relentless output, this nevertheless is a book for everyone, not only students and other silversmiths. It is a supremely enjoyable and un-putdownable read.
Silversmith and teacher Valerie Aked says: ‘I was so filled with excitement by this book, I forgot I was old and I wanted to start making again. This is a book for the student starting out. Any beginner must have this book at their side for sheer inspiration — it is wonderful to have something to aim for. It is a treasure to hold in your hands and to delight in.
‘When I was starting out Philip Noakes was my idol – I’d follow his exhibitions and lusted after his work. The standard has always been so high. And to have this book about the work of our master silver and goldsmith explored and explained by another remarkable expert craftswoman, Dorothy Erickson, is something to be especially treasured.’
‘Philip Noakes is a maker of fine hollowware and exquisite jewellery who enjoys being part of the continuum of age-old specialised crafts. He is a skilled exponent of traditional methods. He enjoys the satisfaction of hand raising but also experiments and uses modern technology to achieve his elegant designs using his extensive range of tools,equipment and machinery. Philip’s lively mind has resulted in an eclectic output, from delicate rings to magnificent hollowware centrepieces. He takes time off each week from teaching to research new techniques and has created a magnificent body of work for a major survey exhibition at the Lawrence Wilson Gallery in the University of Western Australia’s Culture Centre in 2019.’ These are the words the book opens with.