SAHS Graduate Pursuing Dream

Staff writer

Most women aren’t into dirty work such as sanding, soldering, hammering and filing, but for Charleston silversmith Kaminer Haislip, getting dirty is what she lives for – or at least, what she does for a living.

Haislip, who graduated from South Aiken High School and is the daughter of downtown True Value owners Det and Lyanne Haislip, is a bona fide designer and silversmith who runs her own successful company out of Charleston.

In her small, intimate work studio based in the heart of downtown Charleston, Haislip creates pieces of artwork unlike any other, and it all begins with one simple piece of material.

“What I do is, I start with sheet silver and fabricate everything,” Haislip explained. “What that means is, it is soldered together in a heat process that is similar to welding as it is a torch and everything … it starts in the heat form, and I cut it out and hammer it into the shape of the form.”

Haislip noted that, in some of her pieces, evidence of the seam is visible because that is usually incorporated into the design.

“After fabricating the body together – for instance, the base, the top, the spout (of a teapot) – a series of filing and sanding after the hammering takes place, and it’s polished to a high shine.

“It’s very much a process, and it’s very laborious. The end result is much more beautiful than the process,” she laughed.

Det Haislip said he and his wife knew early on that their daughter would go on to be successful in life, although becoming a silversmith wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.

“She was so intelligent as a child,” Det recalls. “Kaminer is so book smart as well as common sense smart, which has done her so well with her career. She could have been anything in the world that she would have aspired to … and yet she stuck with the silversmithing.”

Det said he remembers his daughter’s interest piqued in college by one of her professors, Alfred Ward.

Both Det and Kaminer said Ward taught her everything she knows about the process, and although Det doubted his daughter would stay interested, given how dirty the process is, “she completely threw herself into it,” he said.

Haislip attended Winthrop University and, while there, met her future husband, Matt Quinn. She also interned at a local museum before graduating from Winthrop with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fine arts.

Haislip said she couldn’t ask for more support from her husband.

“He’s in commercial real estate – he does a pretty different type of work than I do, but he has just been so incredibly supportive,” she said, adding that he recently took time off of work to travel with her to Baltimore, Md., for the American Craft Council Show, where several of her pieces were on display and did “quite well,” according to Det.

Haislip creates everything from coffee cups to pitchers, boxes to baby spoons, series of vases and more.

“Some are just sculptural objects that don’t have any particular function, and then other objects have a functional aspect to them,” she said.

She also makes jewelry in her work studio.

“My jewelry is slightly varied; it has never gone into the realm of fashion. It’s more of an extension of my work as an artist, so my jewelry usually has a theme behind it, as well. It usually tends to, on a smaller scale, compliment the larger work,” Haislip said.

In addition to running her company, Haislip also teaches two-dimensional and three-dimensional design classes two days at week at the Art Institute of Charleston.

For more information on Haislip and her company, visit her website at or call (843) 460-4979.

Contact Ashleey Williamson at

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