A young Glasgow-based silversmith is this year’s winner of a unique award where the prize is the chance to create a spectacular handmade goblet – which becomes part of a highly prestigious collection.

Caius Bearder (23), left Guernsey to study at Glasgow School of Art, falling in love with the city and the country, and has now been named The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh’s Outstanding Student of the Year.

The title is highly prestigious – with the heads of Scotland’s four degree courses each invited to nominate just three of their most talented silversmithing students.

Each is invited to submit a design in response to the brief for a functional Silver Goblet, reviewed by a panel drawn from the Membership of The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh and trustees of The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust. The winner is given a substantial commission, and support by their choice of mentor, to realise their vision.

The design by Caius, called The Monolith Goblet, is a reminder of his southern origins. He says: “I grew up in Guernsey and this goblet is inspired by the island’s coastline and engraved with a pattern that creates the effect of sunlight falling on the sea.”

Now an artist in residence at GSA, Caius sees his future as being in Scotland, and the award as a career launchpad. Indeed, one of the purposes of the award is to show potential clients that the maker can undertake major commissions to a world-class standard.

Caius said: “Winning is a real confidence booster and shows me that if someone wanted to commission a piece of work of this type and scale I could say ‘yes’, and also that I could make pieces like this independently of being commissioned.”

His immediate ambition is to remain at GSA and then to set up his own studio in Scotland.

He said: “I love Scotland and there’s so much going on here for silversmiths. Glasgow is such a friendly city to live in, and professionally it’s excellent and the networks are great.”

The award dates to 2009 and is administered by the SGT on behalf of the centuries-old Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh.

Each goblet becomes part of the Incorporation’s permanent collection, is displayed at the Edinburgh Assay Office, and is used during special events and banquets. The Incorporation’s permanent collection also includes The Millennium Collection and the Silver of the Stars, both of which are held at Bute House.

Thomas Murray, Deacon of The Incorporation of Goldsmiths, said: “The Incorporation of Goldsmiths has been supporting and facilitating the development of skills in the trade and manufacture of precious metal articles since the mid-15th century. It remains a tremendous pleasure and a privilege for us to provide direct support to emerging and talented young silversmiths like Caius.”

Ebba Goring, Scottish Goldsmiths Trust Chief Executive, added: “This is a work that is functional as well as beautiful and continues Scotland’s exceptional tradition in silversmithing. We are grateful to The Incorporation to be able to administer this annual award which supports emerging makers and gives them a wonderful boost to their career and skills development.”

Caius’ mentor was Karen Westland, the 2014 winner of the same prize, who said: “It was a pleasure to support Caius with the making of the sophisticated and elegant goblet design. Caius’ considered approach combined with enthusiasm to push his skills resulted in a professional approach to the commission and a quality silver goblet to be enjoyed by many in future years.

“The commission is an incredible opportunity for recent graduates to contribute to the Incorporation’s growing collection which in turn bolsters both the legacy and future of silversmithing in Scotland.”

– Ends –

Notes for editors

About The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust

  • The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust (SGT) was founded by The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh in the year 2000.
  • The SGT has a dynamic programme of opportunities, exhibitions and educational resources.  
  • The SGT aims to promote and support the education, art and craft of Scotland’s gold and silversmithing heritage and trade. 
  • In recent years, their work has expanded with the creation of the Ethical Making Programme to support the adoption of responsible and sustainable practices in Jewellery and Silversmithing.




For information about the trust contact Ebba Goring Chief Executive on 0131 557 6938 or 07881 623 826 or ebba@scottishgoldsmithstrust.org

For media information contact Matthew Shelley at SFPR on 07786704299 or Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org.

The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust, Clockwise Offices, Commercial Quay84 Commercial StreetLeithEdinburghEH6 6LX. The trust is a Registered Scottish Charity no. SC028384