More about Mr. Christensen is available at The Life, Times and Work of Hans Christensen

Offering production sterling silver, karat gold, brass and bronze investment casting services since 1974.

and the

Society of American Silversmiths

announce with pride

Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith's Award

                                                                                            February 23, 2000

    In May, 1999, I introduced myself to a group of metalworkers and silversmiths as a specialist caster of conventional alloy sterling silver and former student of Hans Christensen.  Somewhat to my surprise, there was an amazing lack of response.  Had I made the same introduction in 1976 an animated and lively discussion would have ensued.   Breath quietly left me.  Tempus fugit!   Hans departed us suddenly in January, 1983.  It occurred to me that an amazing number of young metalsmiths had missed the opportunity to meet and privilege of working with Hans. 

    In January 2000, discussions began between our workshop and Mr. Jeffrey Herman, founder of The Society of American Silversmiths, with the goal of establishing a ten year run of lifetime achievement awards for silversmiths in the memory of Hans to last until 2009.  Much to my satisfaction those discussions have borne fruit.  I am committed to creating a sterling silver planishing hammer, much like the one presented to Hans on the occasion of his 50th birthday by his students at R.I.T.  Mr. Herman has graciously agreed to sanction presentation of the award through his extensive and prestigious organization. Each of these sterling silver planishing hammers will carry engraving with the name of the recipient, the phrase "A Sterling Silversmith" and the name of the award:

Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith's Award

    I want to express my gratitude to the following:  Mrs. Els Christensen without whose cheerful assistance and wealth of information this award would not have fulfilled its potential.   Ms. Kari E. Horowicz, Art and Photography Librarian / Archivist at Wallace Library, R.I.T., for her research and cooperation, Mss. Judy Throm and Wendy Hurlock at the Archives of American Art Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC for their cheerful assistance and guidance through Hans's marvelous collection of archival material, Mr. Robert Brown also of the Archives of American Art for conducting his verbal interview with Hans in May and December 1982, Messrs. Chuck Evans, Ron McNeish and Byron Whitehurst who, before I completed my verbal presentation, immediately offered encouragement and enthusiasm for this project, Jim Chal, originator of the 50th birthday present, Jon Parry and David Pimentel who immediately offered their time and professional skills, and the sponsors of the award for 2000.

    It is with enormous gratitude that I engage in this endeavor.  Hans truly affected my ability to create a gainful and rewarding business within the silver and jewelry manufacturing world.  It was his voice and advise, more than any other, that I heard most often while in my workshop for the past 26 years.

    I can well imagine Hans advising me at this moment, "Tom ... I know there will be a lot of baloney about this, not that I'm against it."  This is where I can see the twinkle in his eyes and his characteristic grin. "But .... FULL SPEED AHEAD!"

                                                                      Mr. Hans Christensen - Circa 1970

 

                                                                                                         Very truly yours,

                                                                                                        T. Sandretto

                                                                                                         T. Sandretto

        p.s.

Silver enthusiasts, former students, colleagues and friends of the late Mr. Christensen, who would like to participate in this recognition and remembrance, are cordially invited to participate in sponsorship of the award going forward. Please contact me at your convenience to discuss your participation.  It is our hope at the outset to carry this new honor at least to the year 2009.  

 

More about Mr. Christensen is available at The Life, Times and Work of Hans Christensen

Hans Christensen Sterling Silversmith's Award Recipients

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