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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!

Drawing as a Starting Point

silver purple heart teapot drawing kaminer haislip design
Drawing by Kaminer Haislip for her silver and purple heart teapot Corresponding to an echo as it travels (teapot II)
silver purple heart teapot silversmith Kaminer Haislip
Silver and purple heart teapot Corresponding to an echo as it travels (teapot II) made by Kaminer Haislip

Drawing as a Starting Point

I am frequently asked how I come up with my ideas and develop them into silver artworks, so this Blog post discusses how I use drawing as a starting point for my design process. When an idea inspires me to create a new hollowware piece or jewelry series, I begin designing by loosely sketching in my sketchbook. As the form or shape of a piece begins to take shape, I refine the rendering with correct proportions and details.

silver pitcher drawing artist rendering product design
Drawing by Kaminer Haislip of her silver pitcher
Corresponding to an echo as it travels (pitcher II)
silver pitcher functional art contemporary silver
Silver pitcher Corresponding to an echo as it travels (pitcher II)
created by Kaminer Haislip

Once I have chosen the final form from the various refined renderings, I draw the object or jewelry piece to scale of the actual item on Canson paper using graphite pencils and Prisma Color Pencils (media of all three drawings included in this post). The design continues to evolve in the to scale state with decisions made about handle size, spout curve, and overall proportions of the object. It is much easier, faster, and more economical to change the design on paper than it is in silver!

My drawings also assist me in the pricing of an object or jewelry piece, because they tell me the exact size of silver sheet or wire to purchase.

silver pitcher and cup drawing beaker tumbler designer silversmith
Sounding Series pitcher and beaker design drawing by Kaminer Haislip
Silver pitcher contemporary silver designer silversmith functional art tabletop design
Silver Sounding Series Pitcher handcrafted by Kaminer Haislip

silver beaker cup tumbler tabletop design product design
Silver Sounding Series Beaker handcrafted by Kaminer Haislip

I follow the same path when beginning a client’s custom commission design. Based on conversations I have with a client on their vision or concept for a custom object or jewelry piece, I use those specifics to begin designing a unique, one of a kind piece especially for them. The collaboration between client and artist is a process I very much enjoy! A new artwork I would not have thought of on my own emerges from the collaboration and it challenges me to think outside of my regular work zone.

To view examples of commission drawings and finished pieces I have custom designed, visit the Commission page on this website. To commission me to create a one of a kind design, email me directly at kaminer@kaminerhaislip.com.

To learn more about my process from paper to silver, visit the Handcrafted Design page on this website. Also stay tuned for more Blog posts about my handcrafted process. Thank you for your interest in my artwork!

Corporate Gift Commissions

oyster earrings

Corporate Gift Commissions

Kaminer Haislip offers services for corporate gift commissions that include custom designed jewelry and silver products. A recent custom corporate gift that is featured on this post was commissioned for a company retreat held at the resort Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC.

Kaminer was inspired by the shape of a Lowcountry oyster shell and designed these silver Oyster Earrings and Oyster Dish specially for the group in attendance. The ladies were given the silver earrings and the men the silver dish as the company retreat gift.

Additional previous corporate gift commissions include silver condiment spoons for the ladies and silver bar or cocktail spoons for the men, custom designed Christmas ornaments, and cufflinks.

Visit the Commission page on this website to find out how to commission Kaminer to design and create a unique gift for your company or corporation!

 

oyster dish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Jewelry Designs by Kaminer Haislip

lily earrings

white gold necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Jewelry Designs by Kaminer Haislip

Jewelry designer Kaminer Haislip creates a wide variety of custom commissioned gold jewelry pieces. She can make all jewelry designs in 14k or 18k yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold. All gold jewelry designs are custom and made to order.

Check out a wide variety of her gold jewelry designs in her Portfolio, Gold Jewelry category on this website.

Visit the Commission page on this website to find out more about commissioning custom designed gold earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, engagement rings, and wedding bands. Ideas from clients are welcomed and clients can provide their own stones and gems.

Contact Kaminer directly to order her existing silver designs from her website Shop in gold.

gold bracelet rose gold necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pea necklace palm leaf earrings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portfolio Items