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Diary of a Silversmith

Broken Restaurant Decanter

The silver decanter collar in the picture below has been in daily use at a well known Notting Hill restaurant for over 7 years. It is one of several in use there and they do occasionally get broken.   At JA Campbell we keep adequate stock of all decanter bodies in our range and can fit a new body onto an existing silver collar or Claret Jug. This is providing the silver is not damaged substantially. Minor damage to the silver can be rectified prior to fitting to the new crystal body.It will look like a new decanter again.   Most of the decanters in our range are highly suitable for use in a demanding restaurant environment being thick enough to withstand minor knocks. However the Admiral and the Chalice decanter and Claret Jug are the exceptions.   What looks really smart and elevates the restaurant image is to have the name or logo engraved onto the crystal body. This is just one of the many services provided by JA Campbell.  

Out of Silver Egg cups!

In the morning at work we usually sit down for breakfast before we start the days work. It normally consists of half a grapefruit or a freshly squeezed orange followed by an egg of some sort with fresh bread from the local bakers and some homemade jam.  As we have limited cooking facilities the eggs are fried, scrambled, poached or boiled. We like to have a bit of variety. On a boiled egg morning it is often quicker to find something from the workshop rather than search for a proper finished Silver Egg Cup. Today it is a decanter top with a test engraving on it. Works well! Looks quite good too!   

Summer Garden Produce

This may seem a strange title for a blog from a Silversmith workshop? By now if you have read my blogs before then you will not be suprised how my mind wanders from subject to subject and always finds a link with my work. It is at this time of year when the garden calls. It would be nice if it was a call just to sit and enjoy the summer weather - but we are in England! The weeds grow, the grass needs cutting, but if like me you enjoying growing your own produce then this is when things really start to happen. Picking the first tomatoes ripening in the greenhouse, runner bean plants at the top of the poles and the first boiling so tender and succulent. Digging up potatoes, picking fruits and that is a task that leads on to yet another. Loganberry jam from our garden, blackcurrant jam and cherry jam courtesy of next door's kind offering for us to pick from their plants and tree. All in exchange for a couple of jars. Later in the year of course we have still to come our own grapes from the vine in the greenhouse. Well I am sure I am not alone in gathering all the produce above and many of you also enjoy eating the fruits of your labour. After taking all that care and attention to detail I am sure you too will want to display all your produce in the best possible way. When you have company for dinner the talking point will be your gardening achievements and what better way to show off your jam, for instance, than in a Silver & Crystal Preserve Dish. How about your homegrown potatoes and runner beans in a Silver Vegetable Tureen with lid. If your tomatoes form part of a salad then the Silver & Crystal Salad Bowl and a set of Silver Salad Servers will be just perfect. Whilst the grapes in the greenhouse may not be ready yet (they are best for eating anyway) in the meantime a glass or two served from one of our Silver & Crystal Decanters is the best way to enjoy your chosen wine. JA Campbell Silversmiths have everything you need to set the perfect table to impress your guests or simply to enjoy yourself! Browse our website and order online or give me a call if you prefer the personal touch. John Campbell.


Christmas is here once again - well nearly - and yet again the most popular items in our range are Silver & Crystal Decanters.  We have a large selection to choose from and hopefully something to suit everyone's tastes. White wine, Red wine, Port, Spirits - all look so much better when served from an elegant decanter. Have a look on our website now as there is still time to order and have one delivered for Christmas. It can be for a present or simply for your own use to enhance your Christmas table. There is even one that holds two bottles of wine - the Magnum - if you are having a large gathering. See the sparkle of Silver and Crystal together!!!!!

Life in the New Year

After a very relaxing Christmas and New Year I am back in full production with renewed energy!! [More]

Silver Dream

A silversmith has to have a way of relaxing and I have several!!

The one I am going to tell you about today is a bit of a long story but I will do it in installments to give you something to look forward to!!

Back in 1983 when I ordered my new yacht, (a Sadler 26 mast head sloop) a decision had to be made as to what to call her... [More]