Friday, July 10, 2009


After a hiatus of several months I am blogging again! I just finished an article on silversmith E. Dane Purdo which will be published in the September issue of Silver Magazine. An excerpt and some pictures of his exquisite work below.

E. Dane Purdo's work in sterling silver displays the highest level of skill in both handcraftsmanship and design. His long career as a silversmith and teacher is highlighted by a distinguished list of exhibitions and a legacy of outstanding hollowware. . . . The sterling hollowware that Purdo created was characterized by carefully controlled contours, perfect balance between convex forms and concave outlines and mirror-smooth surfaces. The fitted lid and integral hinge on a 1957 teapot reveal perfection of technique and design. Occasional incidents of restrained ornament include little protuberances like a patch of mushrooms growing from the convex lid of pillbox and a "crown of thorns" disposed around the stem of a chalice which is visually balanced between prickly verisimilitude and gnarled abstraction. . . . In 1960 Purdo's hollowware was exhibited in a three-person exhibition, called "Dimensions 1960" at New Mexico Highlands University Art Gallery in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The other two exhibitors were weaver Lenore Tawney and ceramist Peter Voulkos, both renowned today for their pivotal positions in 20th century crafts. Writing in Craft Horizons magazine, Ray Drew acknowledged Purdo's "excellence of craftsmanship" and observed that the works shown were "quietly pleasing" but "not as unusual as the ceramics and weaving"
Shown below, works from 1955 to 1958: