Illuminating Silver: Exhibition Preview

One of Britain’s top silversmiths will be showcasing her work at a new exhibition in Cardiff’s Makers Guild this autumn, as part of her debut solo exhibition Illuminating Silver.

The Makers Guild Wales has announced the launch of Rauni Higson’s first solo exhibition, Illuminating Silver, this September. Supported by Arts Council Wales, the exhibition will be an insightful glimpse into the process and practice of one of the UK’s leading sculptural silversmiths, QEST scholar and multi-award winning craftswoman. The exhibition will take visitors through the journey of a silversmith, told using key commissions to illustrate the design process. Learn about the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral  Processional Cross commission from a beautiful animated short film, and both virtual and augmented reality experiences.

While the public perception of silver is often rooted in antiques and history, this show will celebrate the relevance and value of a niche endangered skill, its artistry and  contribution to the current cultural landscape.  Presented in ‘chapters’, the exhibition will feature physical objects, virtual and augmented reality, documentary material, creative and artistic expression and provide a rich picture of the unseen material and processes that form the development of a piece of artwork, and make up a sustainable career.

Higson is one of Britain’s leading silversmiths. Originally trained in Finland, she established her studio in 1997 in the dramatic landscape of Snowdonia, a rich backdrop of mountainous crags and rugged coastline that inspire her work. Rauni specialises in hammer-formed silver that people can use to celebrate and commemorate – everlasting treasures that will become the heirlooms of the future. Contemporary sculptural designs are created using traditional techniques, connecting and responding to the natural world and clients’ significant themes. Rauni has been a valued member of the Makers Guild in Wales since joining in 2000.

The exhibition will feature as as yet unseen, from intimate scale to wall pieces and Higson is excited to showcase her love for silver through the exhibition: “Silver is a magical material that responds to light like nothing else, except perhaps the moon. It has entranced humans forever, and its extraordinary malleability means that almost any form that can be imagined can be realised, with enough time, skill, and patience. I fell in love with silver when I first used it over thirty years ago, and I know I’ll never tire of it as a material to create with. I seek to represent the feel of the landscape and my experience of it, my connection to it, it’s my love letter to Snowdonia.”

The exhibition will organise Higson’s work into “chapters”, each of which will explore a different feature of her silverwork. The “chapters” include:

Illuminating Commissioning
An exploration of commissioning through specific projects including a contemporary sport trophy for women’s rowing. The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Processional Cross commission will be presented as a photorealistic 3D animation, on screen, with a VR headset and augmented reality, to allow the audience to explore a publicly used but sacred and inaccessible object up close, including the invisible engineering and construction (collaboration with Stephen Heaton Photography)

The Power of Practice
This will explore high-level skills and mastery, Passing on Skills (peer to peer training, the John Cussell Memorial fund project, creating high level professional skills training to address the increasing skills gap and transfer skills); Continuous Professional Development via support from bodies including the Arts Council of Wales and QEST.

The Strength of Community
The strength of a network of interdependent artist practitioners supporting each other’s small businesses to sustain  a vibrant creative economy.

Showcasing a body of new artwork
As yet unseen, from intimate scale to wall pieces.


The exhibition will run from 9th September – 29th October 2023, at Cardiff Makers Guild. Further information can be found via the Guild’s website.