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Contemporary Silver Commission to go on Display at the National Museum of Scotland

Thursday 8 April, 2021

The first of two new artworks created by recipients of the P&O Makower Trust Silver Commission for National Museums Scotland will be going on display this Spring after the National Museum of Scotland has reopened.

The first of two new artworks created by recipients of the P&O Makower Trust Silver Commission for National Museums Scotland will be going on display this Spring after the National Museum of Scotland has reopened.  

‘Wave’ by Edinburgh College of Art graduate Jessica Jue is a dramatic form which features the traditional Korean technique of Keum-Boo to colour the surface of the silver with gold.  

The Commission, which supports recently graduated and early career silversmiths, looked to highlight the work of silversmiths whose practice considers the use of colour in metal, be that through the use of patination, mixed metals, or enamelling. 

Jessica Jue said: 

The opportunity to work with a museum on a commissioned piece has been an incredible experience. With a flexible and experimentative brief, I was excited to create a design of my own choice, as it meant I could try new techniques and develop my skills. I have always wanted to combine different metals and was able to explore the Korean gold fusing technique of Keum-Boo. I took inspiration from the form of a crashing wave. I have been fascinated by water and its fluidity for as long as I can remember, and this was my chance to make a statement piece inspired by its powerful movements.”  

The piece was hand raised by Jue from a large, flat sheet of silver, which was first worked into a cylinder before she used the techniques of chasing and repousse, to add texture to the work before gold foil was fused onto the surface. Jessica wrote a blog post detailing the painstaking process.  

Sarah Rothwell, Curator, Modern & Contemporary Design at National Museums Scotland said:  

 We’re very excited to have reunited with the P&O Makower Trust once again on this commission, and to be able to showcase the work of one of Britain’s leading emerging silversmiths. Jessica creates beautiful lyrical pieces in silver, that sing of the natural environment she is inspired by. And with thanks to the support of the Trust and their commission for National Museums Scotland, Jessica has been able to showcase her skills in the creation of Wave, her largest piece to date. I can't wait for people to see her work on show alongside other noted silversmiths within the National Museum of Scotland.    

Normally only one commission is awarded but, due to the extremely high standard of entrants and the generous support of the P&O Makower Trust, two awards were made in 2019 for the first time. The other commission was awarded to Scottish artist Hazel Thorn, also a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art.   

The Makower Trust said in a statement: 

We are so happy to have supported Jessica Jue with this commission and have been impressed with her dedication and passion for the craft of silversmithing, and the commitment she has shown to the commission over what has been a very turbulent year for us all. We are so proud of her and the piece she has produced, it truly is a work of art.” 

The National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight and the National Museum of Rural Life will all reopen to visitors from 26 April. The National War Museum, which is located inside Edinburgh Castle, will reopen on 1 May. 

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, a range of measures are in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. This includes pre-booked timed entry, face coverings, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens, hand-sanitising stations and one-way routes. The museum shops and cafés will also be open, for cashless payments only. 

For further information and images contact Bruce Blacklaw, Press Office, National Museums Scotland, 0131 247 4165,   

Notes to editors  

  1.  National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display. 

Twitter: @NtlMuseumsScot  

Instagram: @NationalMuseumsScotland 

  1. Bheireadh Oifis nam Meadhanan eadar-theangachadh Gàidhlig den bhrath-naidheachd seachad do bhuidhinn mheadhanan bharantaichte. Cuiribh fios do dh'Oifis nam Meadhanan airson bruidhinn air cinn-latha freagarrach. 

  2. About The Penelope and Oliver Makower Trust 
    Since 1974 the Trust has been commissioning contemporary silver which is loaned to the UK's national museums. Loans are currently made to the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), National Museum Wales (Cardiff) and most recently National Museums Scotland (Edinburgh). The collection consists of over thirty pieces of contemporary British silver.  
    Penelope and Oliver Makower are also the creators of Bishopsland, a post-graduate residential training course for silversmiths and jewellers.  


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