This Week We Invite: Trevor Forrester
I have always been fascinated by the ancient and the unexplained. My work is divided between silversmithing and jewellery. When I trained at Camberwell School of Art in the early 80’s we were not allowed to do jewellery, it was very much a silversmithing course; recently I have been returning to my ‘roots’ with silversmithing, now incorporating Contorta hazel.
Describe a typical day in a couple of sentences? There's no such thing as a typical day......except that I start the day with a homemade espresso coffee. During the winter I get in to the studio a little later because the heaters need to get it a bit warmer before I can start, cold fingers do not help with fine fiddly work!
It very much depends on what projects I have on the go at the time. When I'm busy I get to the studio as early as I can because I like to be back by the time my boys get home from school. Over time things have changed, when I had my studio at home I would often disappear off there at all times day and night when the mood took me which was a bit self indulgent but great for inspiration and productivity! Later afternoons is for paperwork before cooking the evening meal.
Tell us a surprising thing about you? I live in a little town on the edge of The Wolds but really I am a city boy at heart. I left The Channel Islands (where I grew up) as soon as I was old enough and moved straight in to 1979 Brixton, south London. I was living in the heart of The City of London in the mid 90's when I met Isabel; we used to walk to The Haagen Dazs shop in Covent Garden in the summer evenings, very romantic. Everyone assumes I'm a country boy but I'm happiest in a 24/7 environment where I can go out at 2am and still find people doing stuff!
In your studio – what’s the first thing you see? (be honest- I can see an empty packet of chocolate digestives!) The first thing I see is whatever painting I am working on. I hang it on the wall facing the front door so that I am confronted by everything that is wrong and needs to be changed. I often mull this over whilst I'm in the metals section of the studio.
Which artist living or dead would you like to meet and why? René Lalique. His imagination to produce figurative art nouveau jewellery were, in my opinion, possibly the greatest ever; I've always admired him.
Cats or dogs? Dogs, but I have owned cats in the past. There are three dogs in our house and so cats don't fare too well; they are very chicken friendly though! My black poodle, Loki (norse god of mischief) follows me everywhere and usually has to be in actual physical contact so he sits on my chair and I get the front inch or so to perch on!
Name your idle pleasure? Cooking and bread making. (I've made bread by hand for about 30 years). I cook a proper family meal that we all sit and eat together every evening. We usually play a board game as a family after dinner before the boys head off to their rooms to do their own things, these little pleasures of eating and playing together mean we get to chat with them about their day.
Recommend a book? Isabel and I have started to read to each other again after not having done so for a few years; we read a chapter at a time, at the moment we are working our way through Harry Potter having just been to the Warner Bros. studio tour (I'd recommend that too!!!)
I used to read fiction, especially John Le Carre but mostly now I only read cookery books (and boring technical metals stuff, but that's mostly online). I'd recommend River Cottage Veg Everyday; I was a vegetarian for a very long time and often find meat a bit too much. This book emphasises meat and fish to be a treat rather than a daily experience; it's simple and enjoyable, Hugh Fearnley-Eat-It-All is a good and passionate writer.
What helps you to focus? My microscope, purchased from The New York Microscope Company....ok seriously.... I prefer silence when I'm working, I find music a distraction. Deadlines focus the mind! I make myself 'false' deadlines, usually a week before things are actually due, that way I can overshoot and still have a little wriggle room!
What would your top tip be for the year – to yourself or to others? Apply for competitions, trade fairs, anything that gets your name noticed. If you don't already sign up to Instagram and post pictures of your work every day, it's a good discipline to make you think about how others view what you do. Apply to join appropriate professional associations where membership is peer selected, rather than just pay and join, there is great help, advice and support out there from other makers/artists.
What are you looking forward to in the next year Travel. We moved back from New Zealand nearly two years ago, living there meant we travelled back to the UK for 'duty visits' not holidays. We are off to Morocco shortly, I'm very excited by North Africa, the colours, smells, food, the bustle. Then France, we have friends who live a couple of hours away from The Tunnel and will be visiting them this summer. I'm planning a stone buying trip to Jaipur, but that may not be until January 2019.
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