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“Once I sense something creative, there is no way of resisting the urge to express it in silver. It is always an adventure to work the material directly from the beginning. It allows me to be very creative. I call this method 'thinking through making' or 'sensing through creating’.”
Hiroshi Suzuki was born in Sendai, Miyagi on the north east coast of Japan in 1961. His father was a goldsmith and his grandfather a potter and calligrapher, so craftsmanship and working with fine materials was very familiar to him. A degree in Design from the Musashino Art University in Tokyo led him to England and a three year degree in Silversmithing and Metalwork from Camberwell College of Art in London. However it wasn’t until part way through his MA at the Royal College of Art that he realised that silver was the one true medium for his artistic expression, prior to this his primary interest had been copper. He credits the Danish silversmith Allan Scharff with this felicitous change in direction as it was he who encouraged Suzuki to pursue it.
It quickly became apparent that this metal was going to suit the method and style of working that he had been struggling to achieve up to this point. He says “Most metalwork is very precise, it requires lots of measurements, mirrors and perfect construction. I am more spontaneous.” By working with fine silver, which is softer and more malleable than other types such as Britannia and Sterling, he is able to achieve a delicate, sensuous fluidity in his work that he describes as “very intuitive, I need to feel something, otherwise I can’t enjoy it.” His vessels are made from thin sheets of silver and all are hammered into shape and given movement and texture using one of the three hundred or so hammers that allow Suzuki to breathe life into his metal.
He has won several awards and exhibited his work widely over the last twenty years including several solo exhibitions in the UK, Japan and the Netherlands. His work is part of a huge variety of public and private collections from world-class museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to country houses such as the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth House.