Daughters of the American Revolution – American Heritage Award
Captain Joshua Hadley silver necklace by Kaminer Haislip
I am so incredibly proud to announce I have been honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution with a prestigious award for the annual American Heritage Competition. My sterling silver necklace Captain Joshua Hadley was awarded the American Heritage Award for Crafts, First Place in the Jewelry category! It is such an honor and privilege to receive this prominent award for my artwork. The theme this year was Rise, and Shine Your Light on Your Revolutionary War Patriot and Captain Joshua Hadley is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather and DAR Patriot.
Captain Joshua Hadley served in the 1st North Carolina Regiment, Continental Army from 1775 until 1787. My design for this necklace was informed by detailed research I did on his service in the Revolutionary War. The five units comprising the necklace were hand pierced from sterling silver sheet and formed utilizing traditional silversmithing techniques. Each charm has a specific meaning and they are outlined below.
Captains wore an epaulette on their right shoulder to signify rank, so when worn that charm is the upper right side. Captains also wore a white cockade on their hat to identify their status, so the radiating circular shape is my interpretation of the ribbon rosette. The surface designs on the epaulette and cockade were hand drawn onto the silver sheet and then etched with an acid technique to create the textured lines.
The center form is a Gorget, which traces its history back to medieval times when it was worn as a piece of armor around the neck to protect the throat. Over time the shape, size, and function changed and by the 17th century it became a symbol of rank among military officers of many countries. At this point it was suspended around the neck with a chain or ribbon and was purely decorative. Additionally, the white crescent shape on the blue South Carolina flag is thought to be partly inspired by the Gorget shape. Captain Joshua Hadley fought in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in Charleston, SC on June 28, 1776. The flag played a prominent role in the battle that day and the Americans successfully defeated the British, which was a turning point in the war and led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Therefore, the Gorget also represents Charleston in this piece and where I live. On the back of the Gorget is hand engraved “Captain Joshua Hadley”.
Back of Gorget charm on necklace hand engraved
Joshua Hadley was an Original Member of the Society of the Cincinnati and an eagle is their insignia. The fourth charm represents his membership in the oldest patriotic organization in the United States. I used the Society of the Cincinnati eagle that is on his graver marker as inspiration for the design, which was etched with the same technique as described above.
Captain Joshua Hadley’s grave in Tennessee
The final charm is in the shape of North Carolina, which represents his home state during the war and his Regiment. On June 20, 1775 he joined other patriots to form an association of the Sons of Liberty at Liberty Point in what is now Fayetteville, NC. The document they signed that evening contained the statement “We stand ready to sacrifice our lives to secure her freedom”. A granite memorial later erected at the site to commemorate the event includes their names and that statement. Hand engraved on the front of the state is that phrase and the date is on the back.
Front of North Carolina silver charm with hand engraving
Back of North Carolina silver charm with hand engraving
Liberty Point in historic, downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina
Monument at Liberty Point in historic, downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina
Captain Joshua Hadley’s name on the monument
The theme of this year’s competition, Rise, and Shine Your Light on Your Revolutionary War Patriot, motivated me to dig deeper into my great-great-great-great-great grandfather’s military service in order to create an artwork representative of his patriotism. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey and learning experience, which broadened my knowledge of the war and put my artwork on a new path. The United States of America has an extraordinary history that should be studied, celebrated, honored, protected, and passed on to future generations proudly. Hopefully through this silver necklace Captain Joshua Hadley’s contribution to the American Revolution as well as that part of our great country’s history shines.
I will receive the award formally at DAR Continental Congress in June and I am so excited to highlight my wonderful Charleston DAR Rebecca Motte Chapter during this special event! Rebecca Motte’s father Robert Brewton and grandfather Miles Brewton were two of the most accomplished and talented silversmiths of colonial Charleston. Hopefully I am representing our chapter namesake well!
Through both this award and my involvement in DAR, an exceptional national non-profit organization and genealogical society, I strive to honor my American Revolution patriot and family heritage. For more information on DAR and our dedication to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children please visit http://www.dar.org/.
Silver Polishing Tips
Spring has sprung! Since the holidays passed several months ago and with Easter right around the corner or if you are just doing some spring cleaning, your silver may need to be freshened up with polishing. Mine certainly needs a bit of brightening and inspired this blog post on silver polishing tips.
Polishing silver can be a chore, but by applying my professional tips it will help reduce maintenance and keep your silver lustrous and shiny longer!
Every two weeks I go around my house with polishing mitts or gloves that have polishing compound in them and wipe down all of my silver that is on display and exposed to the air. Airborne sulfur and deposits from the air onto silver are the cause of tarnish, so by wiping off the surface regularly it keeps the chemical reaction from occurring that causes tarnish. Simply wiping off your silver regularly with a glove or cloth that is treated with polishing compound will keep you from having to liquid polish it as often.
To prevent tarnish on silver objects displayed in glass cabinets, I place silver protection strips on the shelves behind the pieces. For flatware or other silver items that are not in use, I store them in dust bags in airtight boxes with the strips placed inside. The strip absorbs the toxins in the air and keeps the silver shiny for much longer. I am always amazed at how well they work when I open my silver chest!
Once silver becomes purple or black, then you must pull out the liquid polish and use it to get your silver bright and shiny again. I prefer Hagerty’s Silver Polish, which can be purchased at most local hardware stores or ordered online. I keep an assortment of old rags and towels around for the task. Old, worn t-shirts cut up into rags work great for polishing as the soft material will not scratch the surface. I also keep an old soft bristled toothbrush in my polishing box for getting dried polish out of small areas or patterned surfaces.
For more detailed instructions on how to keep your silver tarnish free, my step by step process for polishing silver, and the products I recommend, visit my website Silver & Copper Product Care page.
Hopefully these helpful hints and tricks will assist you in getting your Easter table looking fabulous and your silver shining beautifully for the spring season!
“How did you get into silversmithing?” is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive.
I discuss it briefly in my Bio posted on my website, but I get the same question so often I decided to share more of my story on my Blog.
Aiken, South Carolina, which received Southern Living’s 2018 award for The South’s Best Small Town, is my hometown. I grew up in my family’s business True Value Hardware & Appliance, which is located on the main street of Aiken’s historic downtown. My grandfather Bill Franklin started the hardware store as a side project when he was an accountant at Savannah River Site. When my parents Det and Lyanne Haislip were married, my father took over the business.
As children, my brother Wylie, cousins Anne and Franklin, and I spent a lot of time there, especially at Christmas. As you can see in the picture below, we had so much fun with the toys, go carts, and window displays!
In high school, I worked in the hardware store and that is when my interest began in making sculpture and jewelry. Being around all of the tools and equipment, putting together bikes and toys, and cutting keys is now an obvious connection to how working with my hands became my career.
When I was in high school, I took the industrial tech class, because I wanted to learn how to make sculptures in metal and wood. Being the only girl in the class did not bother me at all and I took to learning welding and wood working immediately. One of my first wood sculptures is shown below. Displayed in a downtown Aiken park not far from my family’s business, it was my first artwork exhibited outside of a school setting.
I knew by then I wanted to be a professional artist and major in jewelry and sculpture in college, so I sought out a college with a strong jewelry and sculpture program. After careful deliberation, I decided the small liberal arts college Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC would be the best fit for me. Alfred Ward, an English silversmith from London, was head of the jewelry and metals program and I was excited to study under such a renowned silversmith.
The first functional silver object I made studying under Alf was the silver spoon with ebony wood handle shown above. This piece is significant to my work, because it was the first time I laminated silver and wood. I continue to use this method of fabrication for spoon, teapot and coffeepot handles, because it creates strength in the handle and a beautiful line of silver down the center.
From there I was hooked on silversmithing, because it combined my interest in jewelry techniques and sculptural forms. My graduation exhibition with my classmates in Charlotte, NC was my first commercial art gallery exhibit. Pictured above is me with my brother Wylie looking at one of my display cases at the opening reception. After graduating with my BFA in Jewelry and Metals, I moved to Charlotte and started my MFA silversmithing studies under Alf at Winthrop.
While in graduate school, I focused on silversmithing and immersed myself in it completely. During that time, I also taught the Jewelry II and III classes and jewelry workshops at Winthrop. Additionally, I interned and was a docent at the Mint Museum, where I learned up close the history of craft and design and how a professional institution operates. During the summer of 2004, I went to London for a family trip and my MFA thesis research. Alf and his wife were in England visiting family, so he was kind enough to meet us in London and show us around. Pictured above is me with Alf in the stake room of Sir John Cass London Metropolitan University, where Alf was formerly head of the silversmithing and jewelry department.
In 2005 I graduated with my MFA in Silversmithing and Design with a minor in Sculpture. The first teapot I made was Perched Flight and it is silver with an ebony wood handle that is laminated with silver in the center. It was the central piece to my MFA thesis exhibition and after was accepted to five national exhibitions and one international exhibition. I became very attached to it, so it is now in me and my husband’s collection.
Immediately following graduation, I moved to Charleston, South Carolina and established my studio and business. Three years later my husband Matt and I had our wedding reception at the William Aiken House. My hometown was named for William Aiken and he is my great-great-great-great uncle.
My path to silversmithing began at a very young age, but it wasn’t until I started my business and began exhibiting my work nationally that people started asking me “How did you get into silversmithing?”. When I thought about it and shared my story, I realized how unusual it is for a girl to grow up in a small southern town hardware store and become a contemporary silversmith. Really?!
For less lengthy answers to frequently asked questions, visit my FAQ page on my website!
Christmas Gifts for Her
Even though there seem to be many more options for Christmas gifts for her, women can be just as challenging to shop for as men. Sometimes too many options can be overwhelming, so I have highlighted an assortment of suggestions based on popular gifts for women people purchase from me as well as suggestions for the extremely picky lady or gal who has everything.
Jewelry seems like an obvious choice, but you need to know who you are shopping for, her style, and tastes. My silver link bracelets are adjustable, so you do not need to know what bracelet length she wears and I have a smooth finish option (Oyster Link Bracelet) and hammered finish option (Torc Link Bracelet). Bangles are also a nice jewelry gift, because she can stack them with other bracelets. All of my bangles come in two sizes, medium and large, and can be custom sized.
Necklaces are also a great gift depending on the style she likes to wear. A standout, statement necklace is a special gift for the lady with some flare.
A simple pendant for everyday wear is perfect for a woman of any age, from a young girl to a stylish older aunt. My pendants come with the choice of a 16″, 18″, or 20″ length silver cable chain.
Finally for the jewelry suggestions, are earrings.
Earrings like necklaces are also a matter of taste and style. Some ladies prefer to wear large, statement earrings and others tend to be more conservative or minimal with post or stud styles. I have a wide selection of all styles, so be sure to check out the various options.
Dresser or Vanity Objects
A pretty silver vase she can put flowers in for her dresser or vanity, a lovely silver dish to hold small items (see first image on post), or an elegant silver box to store jewelry or other small things all make thoughtful Christmas gifts for her.
Entertaining and Serving Utensils
Entertaining is year round and not just around the holidays, so for the hostess with the mostess and the lady who likes to entertain in style a lovely silver serving utensil or spoon is the perfect gift. It is a lasting gift she can use often for serving all the delicious dishes and appetizers she makes. I like mixing and matching styles and patterns, so do not be afraid to pair traditional silver styles with contemporary pieces.
A silver napkin ring is a wonderful gift, because you can start her on a collection. Then you have a go to gift for each birthday, holiday, or anniversary. Personalizing with hand engraving is a thoughtful touch with initials or to commemorate which occasion or date it was given on.
Finally, a festive silver Christmas ornament is a fun gift for all women. I offer a wide range of designs and most of them can be hand engraved. Choose one that fits her personality best!
All of these lovely silver Christmas gifts for her can be found in my website Shop, plus many more. Happy Holiday shopping!
Christmas Gifts for Him
Christmas shopping for a man can be difficult, because jewelry options are limited, clothing is hard to fit, and unless a man has a specific hobby, it is hard to come up with an exciting gift for him. Knowing this from the many clients who have come to me over the years asking for suggestions for Christmas gifts for him, I decided this year to do a Blog post with some suggestions for the challenging to shop for male.
Silver Bar Accessories
Silver cups, bar spoons, pitchers, wine coasters, and personalized decanter bottle tags are all great gifts for men. They are lasting gifts they can use when entertaining or making themselves that special drink.
Personalizing a silver decanter tag with his favorite spirit or poison is a thoughtful gift he will enjoy year round.
Other bar accessories he can use year round and display include a silver beaker or cup, cocktail pitcher, and wine coaster.
All of the silver cups, pitchers, and wine coasters can be personalized with hand engraving for a special touch.
Appetizer Serving Utensils
Appetizer serving utensils such as a cheese knife, spreader, appetizer fork, or condiment spoon are all great gifts for Foodie men. My husband loves a good cheese plate with charcuterie and enjoys as much as I do using our silver serving accessories for each yummy item. Once again, they are gifts that can be used year round!
Cufflinks & Collar Stays
Cufflinks add sophistication to a man’s attire and are a creative way he can express his personal style. Jewelry options tend to be limited for men, so cufflinks are a fashionable accessory to spruce up his look. Most of my cufflinks can be personalized with hand engraving and custom initial cufflinks are also a unique gift option.
Silver collar stays are another original gift idea that also can be personalized with hand engraving.
Dresser and Desk Objects
A silver box is a very useful gift for a man, because he can put it on his dresser to store cufflinks and other small items or on his desk. My husband has several silver boxes he uses and it is a classy way to store things and keep your desk tidy.
A silver dish like my Oyster Dish above (available in two sizes) is wonderful for a dresser or desk as well. They can be used to hold small items, such as change or keys, and function as a pen tray.
Finally, a festive silver Christmas ornament is a fun gift for all men. I offer a wide range of designs and most of them can be hand engraved. Choose one that fits his personality best!
All of these fun silver Christmas gifts for him can be found in my website Shop, plus many more. Happy Holiday shopping!