National Museums Scotland is pleased to invite entries for the P & O Makower Trust Silver Commission. An exciting opportunity that looks to support recently graduated and early career silversmiths in the creation of a major piece of silver that will go on display within National Museums Scotland.

For over 45 years, the P & O Makower Trust has commissioned major objects of silver to go on long-term loan to national museums throughout the UK including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ashmolean and National Museum Wales. This year sees the Trust returning to work with National Museums Scotland to commission for showcase a recently graduated or early career silversmith.

This new commission will be for the creation of a major piece of silver that considers the use of colour in metal. Applications will be accepted from silversmiths who demonstrate a practice that considers the use of patination, mixed metals, or enamelling. The judges will be looking for work that reflects the artistic application of silversmithing and demonstrates the continuing excellence within the craft. The value of the commission is £5,000, to include materials and making.

National Museums Scotland holds a collection of European decorative art of significant international importance, and which is the most comprehensive in the UK outside of London. It represents excellence, creativity and innovation in sculpture, silver, metalwork, ceramics, glass, furniture, woodwork, dress and textiles, and demonstrates cutting-edge developments in product design and craft.

The successful commission with sit within the gallery Making and Creating, which focuses upon the work of individual artists and designers from the 1950s to the present day, charting the influence of design in our lives, from mass-produced design classics to the emergence of the studio movement.

The Judges for the competition will include staff of National Museums Scotland, the Makower family and professionals from the silversmithing craft.

If you would like to be considered for this commission, please send via a full CV with contact details and a personal statement about your practice, together with six high-quality photographs, no less than 300dpi, of your work by 11 January 2019 to email

Applicants should provide examples of at least three different objects. Please note that a) jewellery is not permitted within this commission and b) entries are sought from recently (last seven years) graduated or recently professionalised silversmiths. The images should be a minimum of A5 in size and 300 dpi. Any queries should be directed by email to Sarah Rothwell, Curator Modern & Contemporary Design.

From the images and statement supplied the judges will select a shortlist of candidates who will be invited to present more detailed sketches of their proposed piece to the panel at National Museum of Scotland. It is envisaged that the shortlist will be announced by the end of January 2019 and those shortlisted will be interviewed February 2019.

Header image: Vase commissioned from Scottish silversmith Hamish Dobbie by the P&O Makower Trust for National Museums Scotland.

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