For Ndidi Ekubia, silversmithing has come to mean the channelling of emotion and harnessing the power of elemental forces. We spoke to her about the origin and development of these iconic characteristics.
The start of lockdown was an uncertain and unsettling time and to make things worse there was a fire in the building where Ndidi’s workshop is. “I did of course manage to get a few days [of work] in [after the fire],” she says with a hint of rebellion in her voice. “The power was off but that’s OK, all I need is fire and water.” Being able to make is part of who she is and separating the silver from Ndidi is like separating the clouds from the sky in her hometown of Manchester; they will always return to each other. “I’d been dreaming about hammering,” she says. “I needed to get back in the workshop”.
Thankfully, with her son and daughter returning to school and more time for work, Ndidi has managed to get back to making beautiful sculptural silver pieces full-time. The autumn, however, has proved particularly challenging, only because the dam on her ideas and creativity had suddenly lifted; there’s so much to express and so many time-limiting boundaries. But that’s her character. She wants to find limitations not be constrained by them, and her silver is an expression of this, pushed to the edge of stability, on the verge of yielding to a final hammer blow.