modern shapes from traditional bling: the Garrido silversmiths from Spain

Juan and Paloma Garrido are the brother and sister duo bringing new life to the world of contemporary silver design.  The great names of silver (think Georg Jensen, Odiot, Puiforcat, Tiffany) are largely stuck in the past relying on designs that are now in some cases over 100 years old.  How do you inspire new collectors and buyers if you’re still cranking out the designs of their parents generation?  This is why I like the Garrido’s work.

Juan and Paloma are the children of Damian Garrido (1931-2002), himself a great Spanish silversmith.  The siblings worked with their father for 15 years before venturing off to design and create their own lines of work.  Their work embraces traditional forms while lending a modern, almost futurist edge.  Think Cubism meets fruit bowl.  But the Garridos clearly have studied and learned from the past master silversmiths and their designs show a rich foundation for their work.  Today, a silversmith working in his studio in the tradition of the past is almost unheard of, however in a corner of Madrid just such a place exists.  I would love to see the workshop in action, but alas, until I get over to Madrid I will drool over the images of their finished work.
A great centerpiece for a modern table (above).  The balance of the curved supports gives lift to the central bowl and banishes the heavy feeling of so many antique centerpieces.  Whenever you see “space” under any piece (whether a cocktail table, bathroom vanity or kitchen cabinets) you immediately create a sense of lightness, which is what the Garridos did with this bowl.
Another bowl with a completely opposite feeling.  This one grounds the space and commands a presence.  I love that this one is modern but maintains a traditional shape.
How many times do you find yourself looking for something you haven’t seen in everyone’s home already?  This is different – in a good way.  Another great centerpiece, this time with a square silhouette that seems to be inspired by the Jetsons rather than the Gilded Age.
This candlestick is called Trenza (which means braid in Spanish) and it again takes Cubist inspiration in the jagged stacking of shapes.  It works in all combinations: a pair on a side board; a string of five down the center of a dining table; or even a single placed on a bookshelf or occasional table in the living room.
In their effort to expand their talents outside of their immediate craft, the Garrido sibling have also developed a line of home furnishings inspired by their silver forms which includes mirrors, lamps and consoles.
Luxury firms such as Asprey in London and uber-designer Herve van de Straeten in Paris have exhibited and shown their silver to much acclaim.  The National Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York have also made it part of their collections, so I have a feeling this is only the beginning of what looks to be a very successful career for the Garridos.
image credits: Garrido Studio, Madrid. With thanks to Michael Andrew Wilson in Paris for making the introduction.

PS: Thank you for stopping by and reading my feature today.  I love what I do as an interior designer and art advisor, and it’s my hope that through these blog posts I’m enriching and heightening your aesthetic sensibility towards art, design and fabulous interiors in some way ~ Richard Rabel (a.k.a. the modern sybarite)