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Silver Polishing Tips

silverware tabletop design modern silver

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.

silver napkin ring easter table tabletop design formal dining style
Silver Napkin Ring by Kaminer Haislip

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!

polishing silver hagertys silver polish

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?”

“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 he 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!

 

Night of 1000 Lights – December 3, 2020

night of 1000 lights

Night of 1000 Lights – December 3, 2020

Kaminer Haislip is participating in the annual Night of 1000 Lights in historic downtown Aiken, South Carolina on Thursday, December 3 from 6-8pm. Sponsoring businesses will stay open late, thousands of gorgeous luminaries will line the streets, and there will be wide variety of fun holiday activities taking place. This exciting event, organized by the Aiken Downtown Development Association, is a festive tradition not to be missed.

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!

Private appointments before the event are available. Please contact Kaminer directly at kaminer@kaminerhaislip.com to schedule. 

aiken

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

http://www.downtownaiken.com/

Helena Fox Fine Art Open House – November 13 & 14, 2020

helena fox fine art

Open House with Charleston Silversmith Kaminer Haislip

CHARLESTON, S.C. November 13th and 14th —Helena Fox Fine Art is pleased to announce Open House with Charleston Silversmith Kaminer Haislip

Drop in from 12-4pm on Friday or Saturday to meet the artist and shop her collection.

helena fox fine art

Oyster Jewelry by Kaminer Haislip

A native of South Carolina, Kaminer Haislip grew up in her family’s hardware and appliance business in Aiken. From there she followed her dream of working with fire and metal. After graduating with a MFA from Winthrop University, Ms. Haislip made her way to Charleston, in her words ‘my process is directly tied to the city’s immense craft traditions. As a silversmith working in Charleston, I am carrying on the legacy of the city’s rich history by employing techniques that have been used for centuries.’ And she is the only female silversmith practicing in Charleston today.

This year has been a bit different for all of us, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you all back to the gallery for an event! We will be featuring Kaminer’s new Christmas ornaments and table ware along with her much loved oyster series of jewelry. Early enough to be thinking about gift giving as well as time to get your gifts engraved if you are interested.

We will be offering a few private appointments before and after our regular gallery hours for anyone interested. If you have a group of friends that may want to come in together, we recommend this option.

Join us for what we think will be a great start to the shopping season!

Helena Fox Fine Art

106A Church Street

Charleston, SC 29401

843-723-0073

www.helenafoxfineart.com

Contact Carolyn at gallery@helenafoxfineart.com

New Christmas Ornaments for Holiday 2020

silver christmas ornaments

New Silver Christmas Ornaments for Holiday 2020

Kaminer Haislip has two new silver Christmas ornament designs for Holiday 2020! Continuing her design style of the silver silhouette, Hurricane 2020 and Holidays on Ice have been added to her stable of Christmas ornament offerings. Each ornament is hand pierced from sheet silver and the shape refined by filing and sanding. The slightly domed form gives it dimension and its smooth, shiny surface is perfect for personalizing with hand engraving.

2020 has been such a crazy year filled with so many unexpected events that Kaminer decided to make a special Christmas ornament to commemorate it. Hurricane 2020 will only be available for 2020, because we all want to see this year go! This silver Christmas ornament was inspired by the iconic New Orleans “Hurricane” drink and will bring a cheery, festive spirit to your Christmas tree. By the end of 2020 we all will need a stiff drink!

Silver Christmas ornaments make a wonderful, heirloom gift that will be cherished for years to come. Many lovely memories are made around the holidays and giving a lasting silver gift is a great way to commemorate past years of happy, family gatherings. Holidays on Ice cheers to fun celebrations with family and friends. 

Both Hurricane 2020 and Holidays on Ice can be personalized with hand engraving, as can most of Kaminer’s silver Christmas ornaments. Shop the entire array of festive ornaments in this website store Christmas Ornaments category.

Custom Christmas Ornaments

jack & ginger christmas ornamentJack & Ginger Etched Silver Christmas Ornament

Custom Christmas Ornaments

Custom Christmas ornaments are a wonderful heirloom gift that will be cherished and enjoyed for many holidays to come. Not only is a sterling silver Christmas ornament a lasting, quality present, but it is an extremely memorable one. These beauties sparkle and shine with merriment on the Christmas tree and embody the holiday spirit.

The process of etching a textured design into sterling silver has been an integral aspect of my artwork over the years and one fun application of the technique has been for custom Christmas ornament designs. I get so many inquiries about the process and options, so I decided to highlight a couple of past designs and describe the handcrafted technique.

 

silver etching drawingHand painting and drawing the design onto the silver

First, I hand draw the design in my sketchbook and use it for reference to draw onto the silver shape, which I hand cut from sheet silver. The next step is to paint a black tar like substance called resist over the areas I want to remain smooth. The resist protects the silver surface from the acid etching chemical. The resist can be messy, so I refine the details and lines with a steel pencil as shown in the image above. Once the design is completed, it is submerged in the acid, which eats into the silver surface and creates texture in the exposed silver areas.

jack & ginger silver christmas ornament

Jack & Ginger Etched Silver Christmas Ornament

After the silver is polished to a high shine, the textured design and lines contrast beautifully with the smooth surface. The amount of detail and refinement that can be achieved with the process is quite significant!

 

old exchange building

Old Exchange Building Etched Silver Christmas Ornament

I have been commissioned to create a wide variety of etched Christmas ornaments and the possibilities are endless for design options. Some past projects include buildings, houses, a lighthouse, and even a private plane! Shown above is the historic Old Exchange Building in downtown Charleston, which was very detailed with the number of straight lines and architectural embellishments. To view more of my original Christmas ornament designs, view the Christmas Ornaments page in my website Portfolio Archive.

I welcome you to get in touch with your own idea for a custom Christmas ornament! I so enjoy those projects and it is always exciting to see what new, creative concept someone will bring to me. Custom commission information can be found on my website Commission Work page and details on how to commission your own design is posted on the Commission Policy page.

The Jack & Ginger ornament I created last year for a very special person inspired my 2020 Christmas ornaments…..coming soon!!

Silver Wedding Gift Ideas

wedding cake tray

Silver and glass trays by Kaminer Haislip

Silver Wedding Gift Ideas

Despite so many weddings being postponed or held in a much smaller gathering than originally planned due to coronavirus, giving a gift to the happy couple is still a must to show your support and celebrate their marriage! Silver is a classic heirloom wedding gift and my functional silver objects are extremely popular to commemorate the joyous occasion. My designs are inspired by traditional silver forms, but are interpreted in my original, contemporary style. A unique, handcrafted silver gift will be cherished for generations to come and is such a memorable, lasting gift to receive.

My website Shop has a wide variety of options available and many can be personalized with hand engraving for a special finishing touch. Detailed below are some of the most favored of my classic silver wedding gifts.

cocktail bar silver decanter bottle tags silver vase silver bar spoon silver wedding gifts
Silver Bar Spoons, Decanter Bottle Tags, and Vase
by Kaminer Haislip

Coronavirus is keeping more people at home these days, so stock the newlywed’s bar with fun silver accessories they will use while enjoying evenings at home together or for stylish entertaining (while being conscientious of social distancing of course!). Silver bar spoons, personalized decanter tags with their favorite libations engraved on the front, tumblers and cups, wine goblets, and wine coasters are all useful and beautiful gifts.

silver tumbler silver bar spoon cocktail
Silver Tumbler and Bar Spoon by Kaminer Haislip

The silver tumbler pictured above and the silver wine goblets and wine coasters below all can be hand engraved with the couple’s initials and wedding date for a personal touch.

silver wine coaster silver wine goblets silver vase silver wedding gifts
Silver Wine Coasters, Wine Goblets, and Vase
by Kaminer Haislip

Let’s not forget the very important hors d’oeuvres for snacking during cocktail hour! Silver appetizer accessories shine and make serving the tasty bites even more enjoyable.

The silver and glass cheese tray shown above is the same silver and glass cake tray pictured at the top of this post. My Ziggurat Tray creates a stunning tablescape and is very versatile for many uses, including serving hors d’oeuvres, cheese, anti-pasta, cakes and desserts, or for a table centerpiece displaying fruit or flowers. 

silver spreader appetizer serving utensil silver flatware
Silver Spreader by Kaminer Haislip

This silver spreader is multi-functional for serving a wide variety of soft cheeses, spreads, and condiments.

silver condiment spoon silver flatware hammered silver spoon
Silver Condiment Spoon by Kaminer Haislip
silver fork silver appetizer fork meat fork hammered silver fork
Silver Appetizer Fork by Kaminer Haislip

The silver cheese knife, spreader, condiment spoon, and appetizer fork were all forged and have a hammered handle. Due to the hammering process, they are very sturdy and functional. Plus they bring contemporary refinement to the setting.

silver nest bowl woven silver functional art silver basket
Silver Nest Bowl by Kaminer Haislip

A popular wedding gift is my Nest Bowl, comprised of hammered and woven sterling silver wire.  The nest acts as a metaphor for building a new life and home together.  Nest Bowl comes in three sizes, 4″, 6″, and 8″ in diameter, but can also be created in custom sizes. It functions beautifully for serving bread or crackers or on a vanity or dresser for holding items.

silver wedding gift silver nest woven silver basket silver wedding gifts
Silver Nest Bowl by Kaminer Haislip

For serving up the main course, my silver salad servers and serving spoon make excellent silver wedding gifts that will be used frequently and not just on holidays. My husband and I use our silver serving spoons regularly and get a lot of enjoyment out of them!

silver salad servers silver salad spoons ergonomic handle
Silver Salad Servers by Kaminer Haislip
silver serving spoon silver spoon hammered silver spoon
Silver Serving Spoon by Kaminer Haislip

A pair of silver napkin rings with the couple’s initials hand engraved on them is a lovely gift that can be built upon over the years. Starting them on any collection creates a gift you as well as others can give to help them complete the set.

silver napkin ring tabletop design use your silver silver wedding gifts
Silver Napkin Ring by Kaminer Haislip

Silver bowls, dishes, and boxes are also thoughtful silver wedding gifts, not only for their useful function on a coffee table, dresser, or vanity, but also for their beauty and enhancement of a new abode. Most of my silver bowls, dishes, and boxes come in a variety of sizes and too can be completed as a set in the future.

Silver Poppy Bowl by Kaminer Haislip
Silver Oyster Dish by Kaminer Haislip
Silver Boxes by Kaminer Haislip

There are many more gorgeous heirloom silver wedding gift options in my website Shop Home category, so visit it for the complete selection. Elegant gift wrapping is free and it can be shipped directly to them. 

wedding cake stand

Silver and glass tray by Kaminer Haislip

If you do not see specifically what you are looking for on my website Shop, contact me directly at kaminer@kaminerhaislip.com to design a custom commission gift. For details on commissioning bespoke pieces, visit the Commission Work page on this website.

Cheers to the happy couple!

 

Find Joy in Art Auction – May 26-30, 2020

find joy in art auction sc arts foundation

Find Joy in Art Auction – May 26-30, 2020

“Find Joy in Art” is an online art auction organized by the South Carolina Arts Foundation in order to help support SC artists. The amazing array of artwork by some of SC’s most accomplished and established artists represents the wide variety of media employed by our local contemporary creatives. Art items up for bid include elegant pieces of jewelry, masterful paintings, compelling photographs, functional and decorative ceramic or glass objects, beautiful textiles, virtuoso hand-pulled prints and well-designed and built furniture.

For more details on the auction, how to bid, the participating artists and their artwork, visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/foundation/find-joy-in-art-auction/

I was honored by the invitation to participate in this exciting benefit initiative alongside so many amazing contemporary, SC artists I greatly admire! Many are longtime friends and colleagues I am thrilled to collaborate in partnership with the SC Arts Foundation to assist local artists. A carefully curated selection of my silver jewelry and functional home objects will be available in the auction. Be sure to register at the link above in order to view my work and the other incredible artwork featured in this charitable event. Most importantly, bid on artwork to help support SC artists!

SC artists have reported due to the coronavirus pandemic, 95% have experienced loss, 66% have experienced unanticipated expenditures, and 63% have become fully unemployed. Cancelled events, exhibitions, markets, performances, concerts, festivals, openings, and many more arts related functions that generate revenue and a livelihood for artists have contributed to this astonishing loss. Creativity is at the heart of our culture and without it, there is certainly less joy in our beloved state, cities, towns, and communities. For that reason and many more it is so important to support this art auction and SC artists.

“Find Joy in Art” is coordinated by the SC Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1972 dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and supporting the art and artists of South Carolina. Throughout its history, the Foundation has pursued creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state. Learn more about this incredible arts organization at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/foundation/

Charleston Artwalk + Trunk Show – Helena Fox Fine Art

helena fox fine art
helena fox fine art gallery charleston artwalk

Charleston Artwalk + Trunk Show

Helena Fox Fine Art, who represents my handcrafted silver designs in their stunning downtown Charleston art gallery, is featuring my work and the paintings of artist Julyan Davis for the Charleston Artwalk Friday, November 1 from 5-8pm. You can read the full press release for our exhibition Classically Contemporary on my website Press page.

Helena Fox Fine Art regularly carries a curated selection of my silver hollowware, flatware, home objects, and jewelry. During the artwalk and on Saturday, November 2 from 11am-4pm, a wider selection of my silver home objects and jewelry will be shown, including my new Oyster Jewelry collection. I hope to see you at one of those events!

Helena Fox Fine Art

106A Church Street

Charleston, SC 29401

843-723-0073

www.helenafoxfineart.com

Art Mag – Summer 2019

Art Mag Charleston art silversmith visual arts magazine
Art Mag
Summer Issue 2019

Art Mag, a publication publication focused on the arts in Charleston, SC, highlighted Kaminer Haislip’s silver hollowware vessel Gradual Erosion being included in the international silver exhibition Schoonhoven Silver Award. To learn more about this exhibition, visit the Blog on this website. Many thanks to Art Mag for such a lovely interview and feature!

SCHOONHOVEN SILVER AWARD

by Emily Reyna

silver vessel hollowware contemporary silver vase
Gradual Erosion by Kaminer Haislip

Charleston makes its way across the pond to Europe where local artist and silversmith Kaminer Haislip will exhibit her silver vessel, Gradual Erosion.

“It was an incredible honor to have my silver vessel, Gradual Erosion, selected for the international Schoonhoven Silver Award. The opportunity to share my silver work with a European audience in both Schoonhoven, The Netherlands and Freiberg, Germany is very much appreciated,” says Haislip. “It’s the second time my silver hollowware has been exhibited in this special silver exhibition, and it’s a wonderful compliment.”

silversmith Kaminer Haislip artist studio Charleston, SC
Kaminer Haislip in her Charleston silversmithing studio

The piece’s name is inspiration by natural erosion. “The vessel form was based on a mountain shape and the etched surface lines are my own artistic interpretation of the gradual linear disintegration. The erosion begins at the base of the vessel, so the center line is tapered in to portray the slow breakdown of the mountain over time. The concept of erosion relates to the passing of time, what is lost, and what is taken away,” Haislip explains.

Technique and craft are central to Haislip’s creative process when working with fine metals. “I crafted the vessel by fabricating sterling silver sheet, which was hammered over five different cast iron stakes to create the asymmetrical shape,” describes Haislip. “The linear surface design was drawn by hand and etched with nitric acid to create the erosion inspired texture. All aspects of the construction were done entirely by hand utilizing traditional silversmithing techniques.”

Gradual Erosion will be on view at the City and Mining Museum in Freiberg, Germany from June 29 – October 2019.

Visit Art Mag at the link below for this article and many more exciting articles about the arts in Charleston!

Portfolio Items