Esther Smith

Based in South Cornwall, I take inspiration from my beautiful natural surroundings and the goings on of coast and country. My upbringing on the north coast of Scotland has also had a strong influence on the aesthetic qualities of my work.  Whether it’s automata, metalwork or jewellery, each piece is unique and tells its own story.

Originally trained as a jeweller, in recent years I have extended my range of skills to include the crafts of small scale sculpture and automata. I love to tell visual stories from the world around me and from tales of long ago. The moving parts in my automata really allow me to bring my pieces to life.

The automata are primarily made in copper and brass with occasional silver details. I also use enamel, reclaimed tin and reclaimed or coppiced Cornish wood. I treat the metal with patination and oxidisation techniques to achieve turquoises, rich browns, reds and blacks.  I also use leaf metal applications and varnishes to seal and add lustre. Each of my pieces is crafted entirely by hand so whilst I can reproduce similar items each piece will be entirely unique. Please bear this in mind when ordering work – good things take time.

My passion for the natural world means that where possible I use recycled metal and I make sure that all my items are delivered to you in 100% recycled packaging. Being a canny Scot I use and reuse scraps of metal and I am lucky enough to have many beautiful old hand tools at my disposal that were passed on to me from a neighbourly retired jeweller. There is very little waste in the metal business!