Grant Macdonald — Silver Dining Rulebook
BESPOKE INTERPRETATIONS OF TASTE AND STYLE IN THE DECORATIVE ARTS
by Maripet Ledesma Poso
From a full dining tableware service for a private jet to five-metre sculptures for a royal home, Grant Macdonald’s pieces are exclusive and exceptional. Going beyond customising each masterpiece, Macdonald and his team of craftsmen are part of a small and thriving silversmith industry. Since its start in 1969, Grant MacDonald has specialised in producing limited-edition silver and gold objet d’árts for international clients, and credits its success largely on word of mouth.
ONE REMARKABLE PIECE IS AN 18K GOLD SWORD WITH AN IVORINE HANDLE AND CABOCHON GARNETS, DECORATED WITH DELICATE LASER-CUT PANELS
Macdonald believes that it’s the “joy of possessing something beautiful that will outlive us” that makes silversmithing thrive. “In this disposable age, fashions are constantly changing,” he says. “However, there is something timeless and permanent about a beautiful piece of silver.” It is why Macdonald actively and supports young designers who are interested in the trade, employing graduate designers and apprentice silversmiths. Although the brand offers an exclusive collection available in luxury stores, it is their bespoke pieces that seduce their top clients. The key is to take every bespoke project as new and unique. “My design team [and I] will research the brief and prepare initial concepts to present to the customer. Once the concept is agreed, the complete artwork is drawn up by hand or by using CAD (computer-aided design).”
Extending their design expertise beyond silversmithing, the brand creates bespoke pieces using alternative materials, such as fine bone china and crystals. To give customers a feel of the product before it is finalised, Macdonald provides prototypes using 3D printed samples rendered in resin. This allows a client to appreciate proportions and textures of a piece before its production. “The final piece is then handcrafted in our London workshop by our team of expert silversmiths,” he says.
Grant Macdonald champions a unique understanding of different cultures, art and traditions. For decades, they created swords, medals, and trophies in sterling silver and 18k gold, with unique hand-engraved scenes, at times set with precious stones. One of their more remarkable pieces is an 18k gold sword with an ivorine handle and cabochon garnets, decorated with delicate laser-cut panels. Macdonald explains: “This piece is a perfect example of how we blend centuries-old craftsmanship with the very latest technology”.
“IN THIS DISPOSABLE AGE, FASHIONS ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING. HOWEVER, THERE IS SOMETHING TIMELESS AND PERMANENT ABOUT A BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF SILVER”