Maker

Romilly Saumarez Smith

Romilly is an imaginative maker, originally trained as a bookbinder she then discovered a new world of working in metal. 

She makes through her “translators” - Lucie Gledhill, Anna Wales, Laura Ngyou and Rachel Jones, who have become her hands as her own don’t work anymore. She says that often a piece will come fully formed into her head, then it can be deconstructed into its component parts to see whether it is possible for it to work.

Romilly asks for a sense of the hand behind the work rather than striving for mechanical perfection. They have developed a language; a shorthand, to describe the different shapes that they use; shingle, weeds etc. Much of the work is made from these different elements, small shapes which on their own don’t mean much but when clustered together become interesting.

Patina is very important to her; a sense of age is created but not too strongly controlled. Romilly is aware of the organic nature of her work, she says she is; “applauding the natural world that constantly does it better”. Romilly was a finalist in the 2017 Women’s Hour Craft Prize shown at the V&AMuseum.

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