Michael Murray

The Cromarty Arts Trust’s first resident artist was silversmith Michael Murray. Michael was born into a community of anarchists in 1923. At the age of 11 he was taught how to spin by Mahatma Gandhi, and he went on to apprenticeships in stained-glass making, bookbinding and silversmithing. His long career was dedicated to the silversmith's craft, including commissions for Coventry and Guildford Cathedrals and Westminster Abbey. As well as church silver and christening cups, he made many unusual commissions such as a stirrup cup shaped as a horse's head to fit into the pocket. His own apprentices went on to become well-known silversmiths, including the master spoon-maker William Phipps.

He was also an active organiser, promoting the survival of the crafts, including helping to form the Crafts Advisory Committee and Crafts Council, and converting and managing workshops in London. He loved to teach both adults and children, demonstrating how with nothing more than a log and a hammer, anything from discs of silver to old saucepan lids could be beaten into bowls, animals or dolphins. As an artist in residence in Cromarty in 1995 and 1996, his door was always open for passers-by to watch or pick up a hammer.

He died in January 2005.

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19 Bank Street, Cromarty
IV11 8YE Scotland

T: 01381 600354

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