Daughters of the American Revolution – American Heritage Award
I am so incredibly proud to announce I have been honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution two prestigious awards for the annual American Heritage Competition. My collection of handcrafted silver boxes Chorus was awarded the American Heritage Award for Crafts, First Place in the Other category!
The theme this year was “Rise, and Shine Your Light on the 19th Amendment” in celebration of the one hundred year anniversary of the women’s right to vote law being passed. The three birds symbolize a group of women together lifting up their voices and being heard, which directly relates to the suffrage movement. Just as women stood together and bravely fought for the right to vote, these birds collectively as a choir are rising up, harmonizing as one, and vocalizing their strength and determination. They are unified in their efforts, just like the women who courageously struggled for women’s right to vote and ultimately prevailed.
The second American Heritage Award I received was for the same entry and it is The Evelyn Cole Peters Award, which is awarded for excellence in any of the contest categories when an exceptional entry is presented. It is not given out every year, so it is a special honor. I was shocked by the first award, but the second award really floored me! It is such an honor and privilege to receive both of these prominent awards for my artwork.
I will receive the awards 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/.
Kaminer Haislip PechaKucha Presentation
PechaKucha, a series of rapid-fire presentations from an array of local creatives, had its 36th show in Charleston on Thursday, February 20, 2020 in celebration of the first International PechaKucha Night alongside 1200 other cities. Each presenter had approximately six minutes and forty seconds to discuss 20 specific images related to their profession for 20 seconds each. Emceed by musician and record producer Wolfgang Zimmerman, this lecture series featured head chef/co-owner of Spanish taperia, Malagón Juan Cassalett; designer and silversmith Kaminer Haislip; actor, playwright, and educator Michael Smalwood; and more at the Charleston Music Hall.
Charleston Music Hall was generous enough to video the presenters and provide their individual presentations for them to share. To view Kaminer Haislip’s PechaKucha presentation, visit the link below!
Church Communion Tray Commission
In October 2019 the silver communion tray pictured above was dedicated to First Presbyterian Church in Aiken, SC. The entire process from designing it to making it to the dedication was a great experience I so enjoyed! This Blog post highlights this very special commission project for a church my family has been members of for four generations.
The church contacted me in the spring of 2019 and asked if I could make a custom, silver communion tray for them. The current tray they were using was not the right size or shape for the communion bread loaf, so they needed a more appropriate, oval shaped tray. During the communion ceremony the church also uses a silver chalice and flagon, or pitcher, both shown above, as well as small round silver bread trays to pass the bread throughout the congregation. All contributed to the design elements incorporated into the tray.
I worked very closely with the church’s committee on the design and met with them to discuss the project in depth and look at the existing church silver together. One extremely important item was the size and shape of the bread, because it would determine those elements of the tray. I did several rounds of drawings with numerous options for them to choose from. The existing silver pieces were so gorgeous they provided a lot of beautiful design inspiration!
The drawing above was the final rendering of the top view. I also provided other renderings of additional angles of the tray and all were drawn to scale of the actual object.
The chalice and some of the small, round bread trays have a bead rim in their design, so that element influenced the bead rim on the tray. Both the chalice and the flagon have very curved, flared shapes as part of their surface design that include on the chalice a chased floral pattern and on the flagon around the spout, so the tray handle design is a combination of those two motifs. The tray plate has a very slight curve, so when seen from the side angle it looks like angel wings lifting up. The dimensions of the tray plate were based on the size of the bread loaf used for communion.
The chalice and flagon both have an interesting past and during the Civil War they were hidden from the Union soldiers in a cistern. During both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, silver was frequently plundered from churches and private residences. Now it is not uncommon for historic silver pieces from the American South to show up in auctions in the American Northeast and England.
The chalice was made by Rogers Brothers Manufacturing in Hartford, CT between the dates of 1853-1861 and has the date 1856 hand engraved on the front of it. The flagon was made by Reed & Barton in Taunton, Massachusetts with the date unknown. Reed & Barton was founded in 1824 by silversmiths Henry Reed and Charles Barton, so we know if was made after 1824. I am still researching what the numbers stamped on the bottom mean and likely they hold the key to the date it was made.
Once the design was finalized and agreed upon, I created the tray out of sterling silver sheet and wire. It was an extremely challenging piece to make! The dimensions are 15.5″ length by 9″ width, so it is a very large and heavy object. The shape and curve to the tray plate required a lot of attention to detail and many rounds of hammering to get it in the correct shallow curve. The bead rim was a careful application on top of the flat, rectangular rim. In order for the slightly curved tray to stay stationary on the alter, I added a silver foot. The handles were the finishing touch to a very complex design.
The interior and exterior of the tray has a high shine, mirror finish, which to achieve over that large of a surface required many, many hours of sanding and polishing. The end result is stunning and worth every minute of time!
The perfect finishing touch was the gorgeous hand engraving on the back done by the very talented Kristina McClure, the only hand engraver in Charleston.
The inscription commemorates the dedication of the tray in celebration of First Presbyterian Church being located on Barnwell Avenue in Aiken, SC for fifty years. The worship service on October 27, 2019 was the church’s Jubilee celebration and the tray was dedicated then. It was a lovely service and a special day enjoyed by many. It was an honor to have created this silver tray to commemorate this momentous occasion. I love the idea that it will be used and enjoyed for many generations past mine and likely by my future family members.
If you are interested in commissioning a custom object or jewelry piece from me, then please check out my website Commission page that has examples of drawings and finished pieces. My Commission Policy outlines the details of commissioning me to make something unique and special for you. Thank you for your interest in my work!
PechaKucha 36 – Charleston Music Hall – 02/20/2020
PechaKucha, a series of rapid-fire presentations from an array of local creatives, will have its 36th show in Charleston on Thursday, February 20 in celebration of the first International PechaKucha Night alongside 1200 other cities. Each presenter will have approximately six minutes and forty seconds to discuss 20 specific images related to their profession for 20 seconds each. Emceed by musician and record producer Wolfgang Zimmerman, this lecture series will feature head chef/co-owner of Spanish taperia, Malagón Juan Cassalett; designer and silversmith Kaminer Haislip; actor, playwright, and educator Michael Smalwood; and more.
The event will be held at Charleston Music Hall, located at 37 John Street in downtown Charleston. Doors open at 6pm and presentations begin at 7pm.
To purchase tickets or to see the full list of presenters and additional details, visit https://www.charlestonmusichall.com/event/pk-charleston-36/
Silversmithing Workshop at American College of the Building Arts
American College of the Building Arts is hosting a week-long celebration with current women artisan and craftsmen that are masters in their fields. They will be conducting workshops, demonstrations, and a panel discussion. These courses are open to both students and the public.
As part of this special “Women in Trades Week”, Kaminer Haislip has been invited to teach a silversmithing workshop Monday, January 13 – Thursday, January 16. The class will focus on traditional silversmithing techniques with fabrication and forming as the main topics. Each student will make a round silver box like the shorter one below by Kaminer Haislip. The class description and details are below. Contact the American College of the Building Arts to sign up for this exciting workshop and rare chance to learn from Kaminer.
Introduction to Silversmithing
January 13 – 16
Learn basic silversmithing techniques with this beginner’s class that does not require experience. The centuries old method of forming and fabricating sheet silver to create objects will be the focus of this week long course. Traditional silversmith hollowing, hammering, forming, and fabrication techniques will be taught in order to create a silver box. Additional beginner’s techniques will be explored through piercing, filing, soldering, and finishing.
Professor: Kaminer Haislip
Kaminer Haislip, originally from Aiken, SC, earned her BFA in Jewelry and Metals and MFA in Silversmithing from Winthrop University where she studied under Alfred Ward, an internationally acclaimed English silversmith. Kaminer designs and creates functional objects and jewelry in her Charleston studio. In addition to her work as an artist, she is frequently commissioned to create custom designs in silver and gold. Her award-winning work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and featured in over sixty publications.
For more information or to register for the class visit https://acba.edu/wintercourses