The ‘Sterling Smith' is Thomas Lyte’s way of acknowledging the efforts and achievements of the craftsman in our Silver Workshop. Lawrence is the first to receive this accolade and we caught up with him whilst working on the Riot Games 2014 trophy.
So Lawrence, how did you get into silversmithing? Is it something you have always wanted to do? No, it wasn’t actually. I began working in the art world but after four years I started getting frustrated with it so I stopped and decided to run a bar. But I missed the creativity of making art and started a course in wood sculpting and silversmithing. My friend then bullied me into doing a degree and I studied Jewellery, Silversmithing and Design at Rochester University. After this, I joined the growing apprenticeship program at Thomas Lyte.
When do you stop learning? Never! I’ve been working for Thomas Lyte for over two and a half years and I’m still learning and growing as both a designer and maker, as I get to work on bigger and more prestigious projects.
So is silversmithing your speciality? Yes, I mainly focus on producing the trophies, rather than restoring and polishing, but this is an all-round skill. You have to be good at problem solving so that you can take a 2D image and turn it into a 3D product. Kevin is encouraging me to take the lead and make my own decisions, particularly with the project I have just worked on.
Tell me more about this.I have recently worked on the trophy commission for the Riot Games, a leading LA gaming company, which was a really fun project. We have worked on previous trophies for this client but I was more excited by this one, as I was able to take the lead on design and making it. The intricacy of the design, in particular the base, meant it all had to be made by hand. The resulting trophy weighs 12kg, is 45cm high and took over 230 hours to construct. This project really pushed my skills as a silversmith and this is why you never stop learning on the job.
Well, Lawrence the outcome is exquisite; you have given a sterling performance. We think you'll agree that the trophy at the awards presentation look incredible!