I first considered going to LJ Millington Silversmith after my dad suggested it to me. He is friends with the owner and thought it would be well suited for my Arts Award - he told me about his job designing and making silver wear then selling it to the public. I researched LJ Millington by looking at his website https://www.ljmillington.co.uk/index.html and reading what it said about the business. It claimed to do all sorts of silver work such as spinning, polishing, silver plating, engine turning, engraving in their workshop and sell wide range of silver wear like candlesticks, tablewear, drinkswear, christening gifts, personal gifts, photo frames, desk accessories and sporting gifts. I decided to do this for my Part D because it was completely different to anything I had ever done before and it looked quite fun too! After a few emails back and forth we set a date for me to go to see him along with my mum and brother on Monday 15th April.
It is in Hockley, Birmingham (it moved from the Jewellery Quarter 25 years ago) - once we got there, it looked fairly small from the outside but inside it was much, much bigger. When Steve first opened the door, he seemed really kind and welcoming, he brought us into his entrance hall which was quite small but then he took us straight upstairs to another fairly small room were he displayed all of the metal creations he had made. They ranged from trophies and medals to candle sticks and silver marmite jar lids, all displayed in long, glass cabinets. Here he told us a bit about his business, he told us that they were known as 'Manufacturing Silversmiths' which means they make things using precious metal which isn't just silver. It can include gold, copper, brass and of course silver. Then, they do what is known as silver plating the designs which electronically bonds the precious metal to the silver - I never knew this and found it very interesting. He said to us, that as a craftsman, he designs and creates whatever he thinks looks nice, then sells it to his costumers which are retailers who if they like it buy it and sell the silver wear in there shops. They can also make specific request to make designs such as baby toys like rattles which Steve told us were very popular.