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© Julian Calder
© All rights reserved
© All rights reserved
© All rights reserved

Rod Kelly

  • Silversmith
  • Shetland, United Kingdom
  • Master Artisan
Rod Kelly Silversmith
© Julian Calder

Following his instincts

  • • Rod specialises in the chasing and repoussé techniques
  • • The wild landscape of the Shetland Islands inspires him
  • • He won the Gold Medal 2019 from the Queen Elizabeth Trust and Royal Warrant Holders

He had always been creative, but when it came to choose what to study in his final years at school, Rod Kelly followed his parents’ advice and took economics, history and sociology instead of art. Luckily he soon realised it was a mistake, and at 19 years old he took a foundation course in art at Lancashire Polytechnic, where he started working with metal and wood, followed by a 3D design course at Birmingham School of Jewellery. A master in low relief chasing and repoussé, with commissions from royalty and prestigious institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum and Eton College, Rod is now one of Britain’s most highly regarded silversmiths. His workshop, in the atmospheric Shetland Islands, is like an Aladdin’s cave for the young silversmiths that visit each year: full of treasures and secrets of the trade.

Read the full interview


  • © Goldsmiths’ Company
  • © Rod Kelly
  • © Rod Kelly
  • © The Keatley Trust
  • © John Higgins Gallery
Photo: © Goldsmiths’ Company
Queen's Jubilee dish

This chased, low relief, silver dish with pure gold inlay was commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The centre of the dish is chased with an image of the royal crown as well as the inscription EIIR. Surrounding the centre are flowing lines that represent the sea, while the four outer panels are chased with the national flowers of the UK’s four nations: roses (England), thistles (Scotland), daffodils (Wales) and shamrocks (Northern Ireland).

Diameter 54 cm

Photo: © Rod Kelly
Kelmscott Chaucer book cover

Rod was commissioned by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to create a silver cover for a bound copy of Willian Morris’s edition of Kelmscott Chaucer. The cover was chased with low reliefs and inlaid with pure gold details. The cover depicts two arched windows through which a scene featuring a man, a horse and nature can be observed.

Height 46 cm

Photo: © Rod Kelly
Newton Oxford Cambridge Boat Race trophy

This hand raised silver cup with chased low reliefs was commissioned by Newton Bank to be presented to the winners of the Women’s Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge. The forms and chased shapes were inspired by the Norfolk countryside around Rod’s home and by his many trips to the Shetland Islands.

Height 50 cm

Photo: © The Keatley Trust
Agincourt dish

The Keatley Trust commissioned this silver dish with inlaid gold details for the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The dish, which commemorates the Battle of Agincourt, was hand chased in low relief, with an enamel coat of arms at the centre by Sheila McDonald.

Diameter 52 cm

Photo: © John Higgins Gallery
Water jug

This silver water jug features an image of a trout, chased in low relief, rising up through the water. The classically formed jug has a gilded interior and is finished with gold leaf details.

Height 31 cm

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