Award-winning silversmith artist Kaya Hoang is continuing the rise of craft-based product design. Hoang’s unusual collection of pewter vessels, bowls and tableware seamlessly combines the highly skilled art of silversmithing with an innate sculptural quality that has come to define much of her work. Fuso, Scoop, This Way and Sway are just some of the pieces on show. Although Hoang admits to being influenced by the work of Dutch artist/jeweller Onno Boekhoudt, on a more practical level it is the organic forms of plant life, fruit and nuts that provide the starting point for the ‘abstract linear drawings’ from which she creates her final designs. Working in pewter, she is keen to dispel the popular misconception about her current material of choice. ‘A lot of people associate pewter with lead and think it is toxic, but it is actually a British green metal – non-toxic and lead-free,’ she says. All of Hoang’s designs are formed by hand, using either a metal former or, for larger pieces, shaped over her own leg. The individual pieces are then soldered together before the long process of finishing each product begins. After completing a masters degree in goldsmithing, silversmithing, metalwork and jewellery at London’s Royal College of Art, Hoang spent a further year as artist in residence at the London Guildhall University before setting up her own studio in October 2001. She has already received numerous awards for her work, including a Goldsmiths Design Award this year, and is also a recipient of one of this year’s 100% Design Foundation Awards, introduced to support new upcoming talent by providing additional space for ten first-time exhibitors. Hoang currently creates pieces for exhibition and retail, as well as accepting private commissions, but hopes eventually to open her own shop/gallery space. Having previously worked primarily in metal, she is now working on her first collection of ceramics. Stand number L70
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