The silver teapot with jadeite inlay represents the collaborative work between contemporary designer and metalsmith Yve Chan and traditional gem-setting craftsman Jimmy Hui. Made from sterling silver, the design of the teapot blends the aesthetics of the East and the West. Sterling silver, also known as 925 silver, contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, which incorporates hardness with purity and is often used in European silverware.
Utilizing traditional raising and sinking techniques, Yve Chan shaped the flat silver sheet into hollow and three-dimensional forms by repeated hammering and then welding the pieces together. Eighteen karat gold rings were designed to connect to the double handle, reducing heat transfer when touched. The lid is the centerpiece of the teapot; Yve used chasing and repoussé techniques to emboss the unique motif. After repeated hammering, a three-dimensional form of mid-relief, also known as half-relief or mezzo-rilievo, is created by combining the technique of making it “concave” (Chasing) and “convex” (Repoussé).
An icy jadeite from Myanmar is then inlaid on the top of the teapot lid by Master Jimmy Hui.
Raising is a traditional metalworking technique with a long history. The primary materials used in raising are copper, tin and silver. The continuous hammering of the surfaces curls and reshapes the metal into a three-dimensional vessel from a metal sheet. The uneven contours on the surface of metalware are created by planishing, which are commonly found in tin and silverware due to their malleability. It captures the craftsman's style and is a manifestation of emotion and aesthetics.
To Yve Chan, metalwork is shaped through the hands. Through one's hands, what was previously known, learned and practiced can be crafted into a physical object which simultaneously reflects one's values. Born into a family of craftsmen, Yve Chan was immersed in crafts since youth. Traditional crafts have been passed down through generations, and he was attracted by this spirit which led him to begin his career in metalworking.
Through this exhibition, Yve invites gem-setter Master Jimmy Hui for collaboration. Beginning his craft journey at sixteen years old with his brother, he engaged in gem-setting because of his interest in craftsmanship. He has more than thirty years of experience in the industry. Despite technological advancement, he believes that there is a spiritual quality in hand-made objects that outshines those made by machines.
Both Yve and Master Hui hope that traditional crafts can be carried on. Yve Chan believes that craft can only be passed on to the next generation if it is recognized and treasured by the general public. With economic development, it is the spirit of craftsmanship that needs to be cherished and preserved.
NIL, as they are explained in each work, since they have different making processes.