Thrilled to be selected for the Walpole Crafted Programme

22nd November 2015

I am absolutely thrilled to be selected for this year’s Walpole Crafted programme, with patron Vacheron Constantin and in association with Fortnum & Mason and Redman Whiteley Dixon.

The Crafted programme was founded seven years ago by Walpole, Britain's unique alliance of the finest luxury brands, to nurture talented craftspeople, helping them to keep their skills alive and showcase their talents to a wider audience.

This year I am one of seven participants who have been selected to form the small cohort of craft businesses who will be offered mentorship by some of the long-established members of the organisation; companies such as Fortnum & Mason, Savoir Beds and Ettinger.

I am really looking forward to developing my business practice and getting to know my fellow Crafted mentees Mark Tallowin, Alexandra Llewellyn, Insley & Nash, Silvia Weidenbach, Struthers-London and Eleanor Lakelin.

More details about Walpole at

‘A Fair Wind’ is now showing at the Victoria and Albert Museum

28th December 2015

My latest piece titled ‘A Fair Wind’ is now showing at the Victoria and Albert Museum in Gallery 68 of the Silver & Metal Work section until 23rd February 2016.

This piece is particularly special to me as I created it in honour of my family’s escape from Vietnam in 1984 and my Gratefulness to the UK for accepting them as refugees.

My family’s story of great courage and conviction to be free from religious persecution has always been an inspiration for me, and a story that I feel deserves to be celebrated and shared.

Visit to read more about my family’s inspiring story and click ‘Show Information’.

Theresa’s proud moment in becoming a Freeman of the City of London

17th October 2014

On 17th October 2014, I was admitted in a ceremony at the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall to become a Freeman of the City of London in acknowledgment of my contribution and commitment to the Silversmithing industry.

As part of the ceremony I was invited to read the ‘Declaration of a Freeman’ and to sign the Freeman’s Declaration Book that many individuals who have made a significant impact in their field have also signed to take up their Freedom. These included many historic figures, such as Prime Ministers, Presidents and even a Princess. Recent recipients to name a few have included Alastair Cook the England batsman, Dame Judi Dench, Annie Lennox, Archbishop of Westminster and Stephen Fry. I was truly humbled to be in such amazing company.

I was presented with a sealed parchment certificate by the appointed Clerk with my name beautifully inscribed and which I have proudly hanging in my home today together with my copy of the ‘Rules for the Conduct of Life’, a small red book which dates from the mid-18th century; a guide to conducting life in an honourable fashion.

After the ceremony, my husband and I had the privilege of viewing interesting artefacts and photographs such as a letter from Nelson Mandela and Florence Nightingale’s wooden Freedom casket.

Theresa honoured with being made a Freeman of The Goldsmiths’ Company

2nd July 2014

Each of the City Guilds are allowed to nominate ten individuals a year, and applicants must be judged to be masters of their profession and considered to have made an international contribution to the art of silversmithing.

I am immensely grateful to my nominee for putting my name forward to the members of the Goldsmiths Court to be one of ten to become a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company in the year 2014. My nominee has been like a guardian angel watching over me right from the early days when I was first in contact with him as a first year student at university after winning first prize in the Goldsmiths’ Company’s Young Designer Silversmith Award in 2005.

On the morning of my Freedom ceremony, 2nd July, I woke up with great excitement that I would be taking part in the oldest traditional ceremony surviving in Britain today, dating back to 1237.

It was also very special to be with my husband and my friend Charmian, who is a longstanding benefactor to young artists and for them to witness the ceremony in such a historic setting. With great anticipation the other recipients and I were ushered into the Court room, to sign an oath of loyalty and receive the Freedom of the Company from the Wardens and Prime Warden.

After the ceremony, photographs were taken in the magnificent Drawing Room, together with some light refreshment of tea and cake. Another joyful occasion at the Goldsmiths’ Hall!

I celebrate this wonderful honour with all my family and friends and the amazing tutors and mentors who have come alongside me on my journey as a silversmith. I am so grateful for their love and support in helping me fully pursue my calling as a silversmith.

I now look forward to deepening my involvement with the Goldsmiths’ Company and to continue my role as an ambassador for a Company that has been so instrumental in shaping my career and development as a silversmith.

Theresa strike's Gold in the land of her birth!!!

3rd August 2013

I was born in beautiful Barmouth on the coast of West Wales in 1985 just under 1 year after my family arrived as refugees from Vietnam.

It was a result of the wonderful hospitality of the Welsh people that my family was able to settle in Wales and 28 years later, because I was born in Wales, I was able to enter the prestigious Eisteddfod competition for craft and design.

On the 3rd of August I had the honour of not only winning the Gold Award for craft and design at the 2013 Eistedfodd but I was also awarded the ‘Josef Herman prize, the 2013 People’s Choice’, which was voted for by the public who visited the visual arts exhibition during the week of the Eisteddfod festival.

I entered my ‘Spiritus II’ piece for the competition, which was inspired by the way I observed plants responding to the sun's energy. I loved making this piece as it allowed me to really have some fun with my imagination as well as stretching me technically. Getting it to balance was a challenge I can tell you!

I was able to visit the Eisteddfod festival to collect my award and during my time I was incredibly grateful to meet some of the visitors to the exhibition and they were all so encouraging and supportive of my work.

My hope now is that having won this wonderful prize it will allow me to put a small spotlight into the world of silversmithing and allow me to reach a wider audience with my work.

One truly wonderful thing that has happened as a result of winning this prize has been the fact that I have been able to reconnect with a lady who taught my family how to speak English when they arrived in Barmouth and I am grateful for this new, blossoming gift of friendship.

BBC4's ‘Metalworks’ features Theresa Nguyen at her studio workshop

30th November 2011

It was one early morning in November 2011 that I was joined in the workshop by TV presenter Dan Cruickshank and BBC4’s film crew. This unique visit was related to BBC4’s commissioned 3 part series on the history of handcrafted metalwork in the UK, one of which will focus on silverware.

“This programme covers the boom of the silver age, from the late 18th to 19th century. This was an era of great British creativity and the BBC explores the engravers, chasers and enamellers who made our silver renowned and discuss the patrons who purchased the best of British.

The programme touches on technological advances, such as silver-plating, which widened the metal’s appeal and meets modern practitioners who demonstrate how to manipulate the metal to beautiful ends”.

Janice hopper – Director BBC4 Scotland

I was able to contribute to the programme, and I had the opportunity to talk through and demonstrate the decorative techniques of chasing, repousse and engraving. In my conversation with Dan Cruickshank, I was able to discuss my personal experience of working with silver and to study the technical processes that may have been adopted in 18th Century silverware.

“In the 18th century the great tables of Britain dazzled and glinted with fine silverware. The finest foods, wine, brandies, exotic treats, sparkling conversation, networking and romance were experienced surrounded by the soft reflection of silver shimmering in the candlelight.

In an age before restaurants, entertaining at home was serious business; your table spoke volumes about who you were and the dinner table was the place for pushing your credentials. Finely-crafted silver was an essential expression of power, taste and status. A raft of silversmiths engraved, embossed, chased and enamelled to keep up with the insatiable demand of the trend-setting nobles. Implements unheard of today, grape scissors, epergnes, moustache spoons and wine coolers graced the tables of the influential. The role of silver in the dining rooms of 18th century Britain is a glorious period to explore. BBC4 uncovers how this metal came to such a position of prominence in the UK, as well as revealing the fantastic craftsmanship, politics and characters who put British silver at the forefront of society”.

Janice hopper, Director of BBC4 Scotland

'Metalworks, The golden age of silver’ programme will be televised on Wednesday 2 May 2012, 9pm on BBC4.

Reflection on my artist silversmith residency at Kedleston Hall

1st October 2011

Studio Silver today is a great initiative by the Goldsmiths’ Company to broaden awareness of today’s modern silver movement. Through this initiative I feel very privileged to have been invited to be the silversmith in residence at Kedleston Hall. This opportunity has enabled me to exhibit my past commissions as well as demonstrate ancient silversmithing craft skills to the public.

To be the silversmith in residence at such a magnificent and historical setting as Kedleston Hall has been an inspirational experience for me. Robert Adam is an iconic architect and it is a real delight to be able to journey around one of his great works, which was inspired by his travels throughout Italy and Rome in the 18th century. The mark of a truly great artist is that their work is able to reveal something new at each visit whilst at the same time remaining timeless. Kedleston Hall truly captures these two experiences.

I have thoroughly enjoyed tapping into the history of this house and being able to view and even handle some of the beautiful artefacts in the Eastern museum and the silverware in the dining room. Contemplating these works has deepened my appreciation of the fine craftsmanship that has gone into developing the collection at Kedleston Hall.

Exploring Kedleston Hall and discovering all of its treasures has really enabled me to feel deeply connected to the silversmiths of the eighteenth century that worked here and produced such beautiful pieces. It is amazing how little the tools of the trade have changed over the centuries and how we share many of the same technical challenges in shaping metal.

As part of my residency, I have also been commissioned to make a silver tumbler cup inspired by Kedleston Hall. The commission has given me the chance to draw inspiration from the house and interpret my experience into the design of this piece.   In the design of the silver tumbler cup, I hope that I have been able to capture some of the intricate detailing and appealing motifs that I have discovered from the vast collection of treasures on display at Kedleston Hall.

The finished piece will be the winning prize for a raffle open to all visitors during the period of this exhibition.

I hope that through the work that I am producing and also through my role at Kedleston Hall, I will be able to connect visitors to the heritage of silversmithing. I also hope that as visitors take their journey around the house, they will be able to form their own connections to the great works that are housed at Kedleston Hall and feel the same inspiration I have felt during my time here.

I have really enjoyed being able to communicate with the visitors to Kedleston Hall and they have given me some very positive feedback about the live demonstrations. I think that the opportunity for them to observe me at work and being able to ask questions has worked really well. They have appreciated the chance to handle some of my work and they have genuinely been surprised at how tactile silver actually is. This interaction with the work has allowed their perception of silver to be expanded and has enabled them to understand how silver can be shaped into such a wide variety of fluid forms.

My residency at Kedleston Hall has enabled me to share with others my ideas and inspirations. I have also been involved in teaching master classes, giving lectures on my work and also talks on the silver collection in the property. I have found these experiences very stimulating and enjoyable. After the residency, I would like to take further opportunities to engage in teaching, lecturing and mentoring which will allow me to share with others my skills, experience and love for silversmithing. I hope that I might even inspire a greater interest in silversmithing.

My meeting with HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall

23rd February 2011

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall made an official visit to Goldsmiths' Hall on Wednesday 23 February, 2011, where they were presented to a number of apprentices, young jewellers and award winners of the Company’s Young Designer Silversmith Award.

I had great pleasure in being able to show my ‘Parissa’ centrepiece to HRH the Prince of Wales and to explain the specialist foldforming technique that I use in my work. The Prince took a great interest in the inspiration behind my design and in how the precious metal industry is training the jewellers and silversmiths of tomorrow to keep craftsmanship skills alive.

British Silver Week 2010 ‘Summer Silver’

1st July 2010

Now in its third year, British Silver Week is showcasing some of the best in contemporary silversmithing that exist in Britain today. This year, there will be more than 15 selling events held in galleries and specialist shops across the UK. Visitors to the exhibitions will have the unique opportunity to ask silversmiths and retailers questions about the specialist and technical art of silversmithing, and every piece on display will be available for purchase.

Modern silversmithing in the UK is enjoying a renaissance unparalleled since the 18th century. Contemporary design in silverware is crossing the boundaries between art and functionality – stylish, modern, statement pieces of silverware that reflect modern living.

New for this year, three exciting contemporary silversmiths have been chosen to be the ambassadors of British Silver Week 2010: Clare Ransom, Theresa Nguyen and Olivia Lowe all agree that it is the joy of making a beautiful piece that inspires them to create pieces in one of the most precious of metals: silver.

Theresa Nguyen has a passion for making and she says that working in silver is a real adventure. She says: “Directly hammering and manipulating silver enables forms to be organically evolved. The objects should invite people to enjoy both tactile and visual experiences.” Her small beakers have a playfulness about them, while her most recent work is highly influenced by natural form and in particular leaf forms of Camellia Japonicas, resulting in elegant vases and bowls.

By Gordon Hamme, a passionate collector of silver and founder of BSW