Alfred Pain worked originally in textiles and export marketing. With this career he travelled widely throughout the world, and later went on to run his own architectural ironmongery and metal work business.
Part of his designs derive from his experience in architectural metalwork and he uses gold, silver, wood, glass, acrylics and steel to create work that is plain and elegant. The variety of materials used allows his designs to be flexible, and enhances the silver by contrasting colours and textures. Alfred Pain is a founder member of Contemporary British Silversmiths, member of the Chartered Society of Designers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Bowls for Handling
Alfred Pain was presented with a 5kg ingot of fine silver by a Swiss client with instructions to make something useful for the home. It was decided to make a series of heavy bowls.
Normal workshop conditions which are full of dust made it very difficult to raise and planish the fine silver as every tiny speck is immediately driven into the metal. It is subsequently difficult to remove these specks or inclusions with regular polishing equipment. A technique was developed using a fly press and specially made tools, and constant vacuuming of the pieces to get the dust away.
He then wanted to make two smaller bowls which were to be spun. These bowls are 3mm thick and weigh 500gms; a lot of silver but a delight to hold and to look upon. They are decorated with inlay of 22ct gold.
The tactile quality of the metal, the weight of the pieces due to the thickness, the gorgeous lustre and silver that scarcely oxidises, all combine to make beautiful objects.