Designer's Statement

Designs must express a strong sense of growth, movement and vitality – a reaching for dynamic imagery in silver. Essentially, the designer is working in a sculptural manner, shaping and manipulating the ductile metal to create forms in space.

This creative process requires an insight into the quality of light and how this can reveal and define the planes, contours and textures of the finished piece.

The exhilaration of taking a raw initial concept and shaping it into a significant and unique artefact is the essence of the designers motivational experience.

Don Porritt, 2010

Jeweller's bench, pencil drawing 1961

Biographical Notes

1933Born in Pudsey, West Yorkshire
1944-48Littlemoor Secondary School, Pudsey
1948-49Trainee cabitnetmaker at Dalescraft Furniture, Pudsey
1949-54Apprentice jeweller and silversmith to Marcus Thain, Leeds. Evening class studies, Leeds College of Art - Jewellery, silversmithing and engraving
1954-56National Service, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers - armourer
1956-59Returned to Marcus Thain workshop, Leeds. Continued evening class studies at Leeds College of Art
1958City & Guilds of London Institute, Intermediate Diamond Mounting and Jewellery First Prize, Bronze Medal
1959Full-time studies, Leeds College of Art
1959-61Intermediate Certificate in Art & Craft
1961-63National Diploma in Design, Industrial Design
1963-64Industrial design trainee at Crompton Parkinson Ltd, Doncaster
1964Established design office and studio, Leeds - industrial design, silversmithing
1965Appointed Assistant Lecturer in Design, Leeds College of Art. Visited Finland and Holland (RSA Bursaries)
1971Elected Member of Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (SIAD)
1992Resumed to full-time activity as designer-silversmith
1996Elected Member of the Association of British Designer Silversmiths (ABDS)


1966-71Group exhibitions with the Crafts Council of Great Britain
1966Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol
1969City Art Gallery, Plymouth
1969Lincolnshire Association, Lincoln
1971Herbert Art Gallery, Conventry
1974Goosewell Gallery, Menston (solo)
1976'Loot', Goldsmiths' Hall, London
1977'Loot', City Art Gallery, Leeds
1977'Through Silver to Steel' (solo)
Faculty of Art & Design, Doncaster
Park Square Gallery, Leeds
Lantern Gallery, Manchester
1980SIAD North East Region Exhibition, York
1981'Drawings and Photographs' (solo), Leeds Polytechnic Gallery
1983Photographs, The Studio, Menston (solo)
1997ABDS 'Millennium Canteen', City Museum, Western Bank, Sheffield
1998Silver and Tea exhibition, Goldsmiths' Hall, London
1998ABDS Silver Show, Leighton House, London
1998Millennium Canteen, Sheffield City Council
2000-2004Goldsmiths' Fair, London
2001ABDS British Silver – a Sterling Adventure, Keith Lipert Gallery, Washinton USA and Royal Cornwall Musuem, Truro
2002Silver as Water Zilverkunst, Schoonhoven, The Netherlands
2004Creation, Goldsmiths' Hall, London
2005Design in Fine Metal, Clitheroe
2006A Showpiece in Silver, Schoonhoven, The Netherlands
2006-2007ABDS Ten Exhibitions, Bath, Birmingham and London
2006ORIGIN Crafts Council, Somerset House, London
2007ABDS CONNECT Collection and the CONNECT Conference, Aston University, Birmingham
2007Moments of Indulgence ABDS/SGMT, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
2007Goldsmiths' Fair, London
2008British Silver Week Goldsmiths' Hall (launch) and Lesley Craze Gallery, London
2008Treasures of Today, Silver from Goldsmiths' Hall, London 1980-2008, Dublin. Satellite exhibitions at Design Yard and Eblana Galleries, Dublin
2009British Silver Week, Launch exhibition, Goldsmiths' Hall
The Master's Exhibition, Chatsworth House
John Higgins Contemporary Silver, Bath and Tetbury
Payne & Son
S.J. Philips, London
Styles Silver, Hungerford
2009Side x Side Edge to Edge, Hameenlinna Castle, Finland
2009Side by Side Edge to Edge Contemporary British and Finnish Silversmiths, Liverpool Hope University
2009Metal Marvels, The Craft Centre and Design Gallery, City Art Gallery, Leeds
2010Treasures of Today, Silver from Goldsmiths' Hall, London 1980-2008, Ruthin Craft Centre, North Wales
2010BRITISH SILVER WEEK, Launch Exhibition- Pangolin London, Styles Silver, Hungerford, David Fowkes Gallery. Thoresby Park. Newark
2010"Side by Side Edge to Edge" Contemporary British and Finnish Silversmiths, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro
2010London Design Festival, V&A
2010Museums Sheffield Metalwork Design Award, Millenium Gallery Sheffield
2011British Silver Week at Inhorgenta international trade fair, Munich
2011'Festival of Silver' at Pangolin Gallery, London, Butcher Works Gallery, Sheffield & Hamilton & Inches, London
2011A Century of Silver and Metalwork from the Margo Grant Walsh Collection, San Fransisco Airport Museum April - September 2011
2012Contemporary British Silversmiths 'Fit for Purpose' at V&A, London,March - August 2012
2012Festival of Silver with Styles Silver, Goldsmith's Centre in Clerkenwell, 10 - 14th July 2012
2013Christie's with CBS, London, July - September 2013
2014Danske Solvsmede with British Guests/CBS, Koldinghus, Denmark, April - June 2014
2014Exhibition of spoons, CBS. Belton House, Lincolnshire, August - September 2014
2015The Silversmith's Art, Made in Britain Today, The National Gallery of Scotland. Sep. 2015 - Jan. 2016


1962Royal Society of Arts Industrial Arts Bursaries Competition, commendation
1963Royal Society of Arts Industrial Arts Bursaries Competition, bursary for electric light fittings. Copper Development Association Bursary.
1964North of England Design Competition (Cutlery and Holloware), sponsored by Sheffield Design Council, Second Prize and commendation. Designs for the Future.
1973Goldsmiths' Company Travelling Fellowship, to Poland, Finland, USSR, Sweden and Norway
2010Museums Sheffield Metalwork Design Award 2010


1979Modern Design in Metal, Richard Stewart, John Murray, London
1993Cricket Review (AXA Equity & Law League Trophy)
1996BAFTA Awards (Lloyds Bank BAFTA Awards)
1998Autosport (Formula Ford World Finals Trophy), 23 October 1997
1998Silver and Tea, a Goldsmiths' Company exhibition catalogue
1999Silversmithing – A Manual of Design and Techniques, Keith Smith, The Crowood Press
2000British Silver – A Sterling Adventure, ABDS
2001Silver as Water, Silver Gallery, Schoonhoven, Holland
2004Creation – An insight into the mind of the modern silversmith, a Goldsmiths' Company exhibition catalogue and video
2007500 Metal Vessels, F. Fenster, Lark Books, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
2012Fit for Purpose, Contemporary British Silversmiths
2015Designer British Silver from Studios Established 1930-1985, John Andrew and Derek Styles, Antique Collectors Club


2015A matching pair of silver jewel boxes topped with a wave-like formation of undulating textured elements. Diameter 90mm. Height 40mm. Private Commission.