Vases

One of the most versatile items in the JA Campbell range.

A vase is an ideal present for so many occasions, a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary or as a presentation piece. (Especially if engraved with a suitable message to remind the recipient of the sentiments expressed by family, friends or colleagues).

So many of the items we now sell are requested to be engraved.

A vase can be used in EVERY room in the house or at the office.

It can be used EVERYDAY of the year with either fresh, silk or dried arrangements to suit each season. Or even just look in your garden for inspiration.

On the JA Campbell website we change the pictures of both the silver and the silver & crystal vases to reflect the changing seasons.

Look out for Autumn ones any day now!

20 Medium Autumn med res

We offer two styles of vase, three with crystal bodies and a detachable silver base and three made entirely of sterling silver.

The choice is yours. Browse our website and order online or give us a call at anytime. We like to talk!!!

Improvised Egg Cup

If you think that the egg cup in the picture below is a bit unusual, you are correct.

Egg cup

It is not actually an egg cup (although it works very well as one). It is in fact a Silver Claret Jug component.

It is bad isn’t it when a silversmith has not got a proper egg cup and has to make do! It is a bit like the shoemaker’s children – usually poorly shod.

The good news is I am busy actually making a batch of Silver Claret Jugs – the real thing in which to serve your favourite wine.

 

 

Al fresco is coming

An essential piece of the al fresco summer table is the stylish sterling silver and crystal salad bowl. The sterling silver salad servers seen in action during one of my recent evening meals complement the bowl perfectly. Still in the dining room at the moment- but I have high hopes for some warm summer weather to come soon!!

Salad bowl

You may wish to add other important items such as the sterling silver oil and vinegar set and the sterling silver salt and pepper mills not forgetting a sterling silver and crystal decanter for your chilled Chablis.

Enjoy the summer soon to come!

What to make next?

I am sure I have probably written about this before – forgive me if I have but it seems to happen every year. There comes a stage where I am up to date with the current order schedule and I have time to make some items for stock. The question always is what to make this time?

I do wish I had a crystal ball and could predict what customers are going to buy. I have tried many ways before to look at sales trends from previous years, to look at what seems to be popular out in the shops, what are other websites putting forward as special offers or even can I look at the weather forecast!!!!

Well here goes again. Nothing has seemed to work 100% in the past but I seem to be doing reasonably well and will go for the ever popular Salt & Pepper Mills from the JA Campbell “Appetite” range. These silver mills are part of the matching collection that I designed about 25 years ago now.How time flies.

It is a contemporary range  and sits well against the more traditional items in the “Classic” range.

They are quite time consuming to make which is why I tend to always ensure that I have some in stock as they would be difficult items to make in a rush. However complicated things are to produce, as long as I have the time, I enjoy creating beautiful silver tableware.

That is one of the reasons I became a Silversmith and I still enjoy my work today.

Summer Produce

It is at this time of year when the garden calls. Unfortunately not always just to sit and enjoy. The weeds grow, the grass needs cutting, but if like me you enjoying growing your own produce then this is when things really start to happen.

Picking the first tomatoes ripening in the greenhouse, runner bean plants at the top of the poles and the first boiling so tender and succulent. Digging up potatoes, picking fruits and that is a task that leads on to yet another.

Loganberry jam from our garden, blackcurrant jam and cherry jam courtesy of our next door neighbours plants and tree.

Still to come our own grapes from the vine in the greenhouse.

Of course you may be thinking what has all this to do with a blog from a Silversmith?

Well I am sure I am not alone in gathering all the produce above and to take the care and have the attention to detail to do that sort of thing I am sure you too will want to display all your produce in the best possible way.

When friends and family come to dinner the talking point will be your gardening endeavours and what better way to show off your jam, for instance, than in a Silver & Crystal Preserve Dish.

How about your homegrown potatoes and runner beans in a Silver Vegetable Tureen with lid.

If your tomatoes form part of a salad then the Silver & Crystal Salad Bowl and a set of Silver Salad Servers will be just perfect.

Whilst the grapes may not be ready yet (and then they will be for eating) but in the meantime a glass of wine or two served from one of our Silver & Crystal Decanters is the ideal accompaniment.

At JA Campbell we have everything you need to set the perfect table to impress!

Have a look now

John Campbell.

Silver Tumbler Cups

It is really strange how things seem to go in cycles. I never can judge how certain items will sell. Even looking back at sales history data the patterns do not seem to be there.

The only one that is consistent is that things seem to come in groups. Take the current rush on silver tumbler cups!

Just after Christmas 2 sets sold, last week 2 medium sized ones, this week followed up by yet another sale, more questions and a viewing visit later in the week – all interested in tumbler cups. No connection between any of them.

However “ours is not to reason why” and I am just pleased that they are being appreciated.

It is an unusual item that comes in three sizes. The history is that since the reign of Charles 11, circa 1660, they have been very popular drinking cups. They have often been used as travelling sets, in canteens and before that on board ship, as they will rock but will not fall over. The reason for this is that they are thicker at the base.

Being gold plated inside this opens up the present buying opportunities to cover Silver and Golden weddings!

Really they are ideal for a present on any occasion and are highly suitable for engraving with names, dates, messages to mark the occasion and bring back happy memories for the recipient.

Have a look and see if you can think of an occasion coming up where you could give one or a set to someone you know. All sizes in stock as of today.

John Campbell

Master Silversmith 

Silver & Crystal Decanters

At this time of year one of the most popular items in our range are Silver & Crystal decanters.

At the main meal on Christmas day what could be better to really set off your table than by serving wine in one of our elegant decanters. There are a selection of shapes to choose from and even a double size one that holds two bottles of wine – the Magnum decanter– if you have a large number to serve. It saves time refilling the decanter.

Red wine, even white wine, definitely the after dinner port or sherry and all the spirits!!

All our decanters are in stock and there is still time to have one delivered in time for Christmas – as a present or for your own table.

JA Campbell Silversmiths – 24 hours a day – 7 days a week- we can take your order

Check out the selection now!!

Silver Vase resurrection

Some years ago we had a range of Art Deco style Sterling Silver vases in our collection. When we introduced the contemporary appetite collection I discontinued these along with many other reproduction items.

I had a rethink recently and realised we had a lack of all silver vases in the current offering and so decided to ressurect this range as soon as I had a couple of hours spare. This was Thursday 13 March 2014. I decided that the middle size in the range, the 6 inch, would be the prototype for photography. How nice it looked!

I took it along to our local florist – The little flower shop- (near Brentwood station) and asked her advice on the best floral arrangement for displaying them. She recommended two roses. The plan is to collect these on the morning the photography is booked so they will be at their freshest.

These vases are quite simple and relatively quick to make being made of just three silver components. The centre part is  an arc shape cut from a silver sheet and bent around a tapered mandril to form a cone. Sort iron wire is wound around the taper to pull the straight cut edges tightly together.

Flux is then addd to the joint and the cone is heated up to red hot and allowed to cool. After cooling the wires are removed, the taper reheated to red and silver solder applied to the joint. After a further cooling the taper is pickled in hot dilute sulphuric acid, rinsed and dried. The solder seam is then inspected and filed smooth.

Next comes the spinning process. The cone (still not perfectly round) is pushed onto a tapered spindal on the lathe and planished until perfectly round. The top and bottom edges are both trimed true and to height.

The top and bottom spinnings are the next to be spun, there are about four operations in each of these units. They are then soldered on to the top and bottom of the cone. Silversmithing now complete.

Next off to the London Assay Office where all three components are tested and the hallmark applied providing the tests prove positive.

The vase is then returned to the workshop where it is polished using three grades of compound until perfect and bright.

Lastly it is ultrasonically cleaned and packed into its presentation box ready for dispatch.

Please enjoy browsing through my website and in particular at this new addition which will be exclusive to the JA Campbell site and not available anywhere else.

John Campbell

Master Silversmith

Wedding Gifts

August has become one of the most popular months for couples to get married here in the UK. So if you have got a friend of family members wedding this month you need to make sure that you have got them a gift. Many couples often do gift lists however the bride and groom do like surprises too.

If you are looking for a wedding gift that’s a little bit different and will stand the test of time why not give them a gift of silver. Here at J A Campbell we have a huge selection of silver wedding gifts that any new married couple would love.

A great wedding gift idea is getting a wedding picture. You can choose the best picture of the couple during the ceremony or during the reception and have it framed in a hand made hallmarked sterling silver photo frame. It’s the perfect place to keep those treasured memories. If you want to add that extra wow factor to the gift you could also add a personal engraved message on the frame, maybe the couple’s name and date they got married.

To see the whole collection of silver wedding gifts click onto www.jacampbell.co.uk

Silver Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Celebrating a silver wedding anniversary is a great achievement for two people and should be celebrated in style. Traditionally on a silver wedding anniversary a gift of silver should be given to the couple.

At JA Campbell you will find a selection of fantastic silver wedding gifts.
By choosing a sterling silver wedding gift from JA Campbell you are choosing a silver gift that will stay in the family for years to come and will be passed down from generation to generation.

If you are looking for a silver wedding gift that is practical and can be used regularly by the couple then why not look at the sterling silver tea set or the silver cake stand, photo frames are also a great gift idea too.

Here at JA Campbell we think the sterling silver and crystal decanters make a perfect wedding anniversary gift. All silver products at JA Campbell can be personalised too with the option of having the silver or crystal gift engraved. Why not add their names and the date of the anniversary; this would be a lovely reminder of the special occasion.

Whether you’re looking for a special anniversary present for Mum & Dad or looking for a special anniversary gift for a family member let JA Campbell  can provide you with the perfect gift and can personalise it for you too.