Jeweller and silversmith Leah Black creates delicate pieces, examining the relationship between ‘object, memory and forgetting’. From intricately detailed monuments in miniature to organically formed claws holding clusters of gems, Leah's work is compelling and unique.
Leah graduated from the Silversmithing and Jewellery department of The Glasgow School of Art in 2008, after spells in Primary School teaching and floristry gave her an appetite for a creative outlet. She has since had her work exhibited both across Europe and closer to home.
“I think my biggest achievement so far is having work in the permanent collections of The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and The Hunterian Museum, both in Glasgow. I designed and made a pair of silver candlesticks which now belong to the Kelvingrove, and in 2007 I was commissioned to make a silver cup to commemorate the bicentenary of The Hunterian Museum. It's just really nice to think that these pieces will remain in these important collections”
From January to March 2010, Leah took part in our Meet Your Maker exhibition with The National Museum of Scotland, bringing craft to the public in an entirely new way.
“I will be asking the public to stand on a plinth, strike a pose and they will be immortalised in brass, in the form of a monument pin. I'm really looking forward to this as I'll be there quite a bit over January, February and March, and I can't wait to see what poses people strike for me!”
Leah was one of the makers represented by craftscotland at Collect 2010, exhibiting at the Saatchi Gallery. We asked Leah what else she had planned for the year.
“I am currently artist in residence at Brazen Studios in The Merchant City of Glasgow, where I have my workbench and I teach jewellery night classes. I'm loving it there it's such a great environment to work in, and this continues until the summer. I am also looking forward to developing my work: I recently made a new and quite different body of work for Dazzle in London and I'm already planning new ideas and pieces - sometimes my hands can't work as fast as my brain though!”
With her two business partners - Greg Reid and fashion designer Ruth Black - Leah recently set up The Gin Palace, a design collective based in Glasgow. They successfully launched the creative collaboration with a pop-up exhibition in November 2009, showcasing and selling the work of thirty hand-picked designers.