Posts

Church Communion Tray Commission

church communion tray commission custom design flagon chalice
Photo credit: Joanna Hamilton of JLHamilton Photography

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.

silver tray commission custom design flagon chalice
Photo credit: Joanna Hamilton of JLHamilton Photography

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.

ecclesiastical church silver communion 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!

silver tray design drawing design rendering designer maker
Top view drawing of tray by Kaminer Haislip

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.

silver communion tray first presbyterian church aiken sc church silver
Photo credit: Joanna Hamilton of JLHamilton Photography

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.

silver communion tray bead rim

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.

ecclesiastic silver church silver bread tray

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.

oval silver tray bead rim

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!

silver communion tray First Presbyterian Church Aiken, SC
Photo credit: Joanna Hamilton of JLHamilton Photography

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.

silver tray hand engraved inscription
Photo credit: Joanna Hamilton of JLHamilton Photography
silver tray hand engraving commemoration
Photo credit: Joanna Hamilton of JLHamilton Photography

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.

script hand engraving
Hand engraving by Kristina McClure
hand engraved silver tray
Hand engraving by Kristina McClure

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!

Night of 1000 Lights – December 2018

Night of 1000 Lights

Night of 1000 Lights – Downtown Aiken, SC

Kaminer Haislip is participating in the annual Night of 1000 Lights in historic downtown Aiken, SC on Thursday, December 6 from 6-8pm. Sponsoring businesses will stay open late, thousands of gorgeous luminaries will line the streets of downtown Aiken, and there will be wide variety of fun holiday activities taking place. This exciting event, organized by the Aiken Downtown Development Association, is a tradition not to be missed!

True Value Aiken SC

During the event, Kaminer’s handcrafted silver jewelry, functional objects, and Christmas ornaments will be displayed for sale at her family’s business, True Value Hardware & Appliance, located at 121 Laurens Street.  Stop by True Value to see her work and enjoy some holiday cheer!

aiken

http://www.visitaikensc.com/whattodo/detail/aiken_downtown_development_association_adda

http://www.downtownaiken.com/

“How did you get into silversmithing?”

“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.

 

silversmithing studio

Kaminer Haislip working in her silversmithing studio

 

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.

 

True Value Aiken SC

True Value Hardware & Appliance in historic downtown Aiken, SC

 

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!

 

hardware store 1980's

Kaminer with her brother and cousins in the hardware store as children in the 1980’s

 

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.

 

True Value Aiken SC

True Value newspaper feature from 1990’s

 

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.

 

sculpture

Sculpture from high school in 1990’s

 

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.

 

silver ebony wood spoon

Silver and ebony wood spoon from undergraduate studies

 

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.

 

art gallery

Kaminer and her brother Wylie at her first gallery exhibition

 

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.

 

Sir John Cass London Metropolitan University

Kaminer and her professor Alf at Sir John Cass London Metropolitan University in London, England

 

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.

 

silver teapot

Perched Flight silver and ebony wood teapot

 

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 his father is my great-great-great-great uncle.

 

Charleston Weddings Magazine

Charleston Weddings Magazine feature – see full article on website Press page

 

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!

 

News Channel 12 Feature in Aiken, SC – December 2017

 

Thank you so much Matt Kaufax for featuring me on News Channel 12 for Aiken Kicks Off Night of 1000 Lights!  My trunk show was held during the event at my family’s business True Value Hardware & Appliance in downtown Aiken, SC on December 7, 2017.  It was great to see old friends and meet new ones despite the rainy weather!

Watch the feature at the link below!

http://www.wrdw.com/video?vid=462686203

 

Night of 1000 Lights – December 2017

aiken

The Aiken Downtown Development Association has organized the Night of 1000 Lights in historic downtown Aiken, SC.  The event will be held on Thursday, December 7 from 6-8pm.  Sponsoring businesses will stay open late, thousands of gorgeous luminaries will line the streets of downtown Aiken, and there will be wide variety of fun holiday activities taking place!

During the event, Kaminer Haislip will be exhibiting for sale her hand crafted silver jewelry, functional objects, and Christmas ornaments at her family’s business, True Value Hardware and Appliance, located at 121 Laurens Street.  Stop by True Value to see her work and enjoy light refreshments!

http://www.visitaikensc.com/whattodo/detail/aiken_downtown_development_association_adda

http://www.downtownaiken.com/

Bella Magazine – December 2016

bellalogo

bellamagazine

Night of 1000 Lights – December 2016

ADDA_Logo

The Aiken Downtown Development Association has organized the Night of 1000 Lights in historic downtown Aiken, SC.  The event will be held on Thursday, December 8 from 6-8pm.  Sponsoring businesses will stay open late, thousands of gorgeous luminaries will line the streets of downtown Aiken, and there will be wide variety of fun holiday activities taking place!

During the event, Kaminer Haislip will be exhibiting for sale her hand crafted silver jewelry and objects at her family’s business, True Value Hardware and Appliance, located at 121 Laurens Street.  Stop by True Value to see her work and enjoy light refreshments!

http://www.visitaikensc.com/whattodo/detail/aiken_downtown_development_association_adda

http://www.downtownaiken.com/

 

Night of 1000 Lights – December 2015

ADDA_Logo

The Aiken Downtown Development Association has organized the Night of 1000 Lights in historic downtown Aiken, SC.  The event will be held on Thursday, December 10th from 6-8pm.  Sponsoring businesses will stay open late, thousands of gorgeous luminaries will line the streets of downtown Aiken, and there will be wide variety of fun holiday activities taking place!

During the event and a preview from 5-6pmKaminer Haislip will be exhibiting her hand crafted silver jewelry and objects at her family’s business, True Value Hardware and Appliance, located at 121 Laurens Street.  Stop by True Value to see her work and enjoy light refreshments!

http://www.visitaikensc.com/whattodo/detail/aiken_downtown_development_association_adda

http://www.downtownaiken.com/