The Worshipful Company of Pewterer,' a 600-year-old traditional guild, promotes the design and sale of traditional and contemporary pewter products in the UK and supports small and large pewter manufacturers through the Association of British Pewter Craftsmen (ABPC).
In these modern times design has a key role to play in getting pewter to be used as the material of choice for a range of consumer products.
Pewter Live is an annual European Design Competition for pewter and is organized by the Company with the support of the ABPC in order to promote the use of pewter in modern products. It comprises two separate competitions, one exclusively for second year students of all ages from colleges and universities, and the other an open competition.
Pewter Live is held in June each year at Pewterers’ Hall in the heart of the City. All the pieces of pewter that have been entered by students and professional designers are displayed at a three day event attended by the public, students, designers, manufacturers and retailers as well as City dignitaries. It is opened by the Lord Mayor and in 2008 the prizes were presented by Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum in London. His distinguished predecessors include HRH The Prince of Wales, Tom Dixon, Sir Terence Conran, The Marquess of Queensberry and Sir Christopher Frayling.
The student competition is tremendously popular with colleges across the UK. As a result pewter design is now well established on the curriculum of their art and design courses and several have engineering departments that are developing new tools and techniques to aid manufacture. The open competition has attracted entries from young professional designers including many from Design Nation who are now turning to pewter thanks to presentations held by the Company to make them aware of its versatility as a design material.
Pewter Live also provides members of the ABPC with the opportunity to work closely with participating colleges, universities and professional designers by arranging for them to visit pewter manufacturers to learn about the traditional processes and techniques involved in working with pewter. ABPC members in turn have the opportunity to manufacture new pewter products with the accent on design.
Over the past few years well over 30 new pewter products have been brought to the market as a direct result of Pewter Live. A Pewter Live entry was the winner of the prestigious Eureka Design Award 2007.