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Kendal silversmith continues to shine
KENDAL silversmith Tony Kelly has given up his town centre shop after 35 years, but the veteran craftsman says his business is not closing.
Mr Kelly decided against renewing the lease on his Lowther Street premises and instead will work from his Kendal home.
“My lease is due to finish and I didn’t want to take on a new five-year commitment to the Lowther Street shop,” said the 66-year-old. “I have a studio and workshop where I live and I will keep contacts with my regular customers.
“Moving out of the shop means I can rid myself of overheads - and overheads are the bain of retailing.
“I’m not retiring because I can’t afford to and will continue to work because I’m a specialist and enjoy what I do.
“My sales pitch is that I make items you can’t buy off the shelf. As long as people still want my skills I will carry on.”
Mr Kelly makes items in gold, silver or platinum, from cufflinks to coffee pots, earrings and table centrepieces.
He was born in Kendal but moved as a child to Crosby, Liverpool, where his father’s family lived.
He was educated at St Mary’s College, Crosby, and afterwards trained in 3D design and silversmithing at Hopwood Hall College, Manchester. This was followed by nine years teaching at the De La Salle College, Salford, during which he gained his honours degree from Manchester University.
In 1977, Mr Kelly established his first shop in Kendal - in Windmill Yard, which has now gone.
He moved the following year to Lowther Street.
Mr Kelly admits that in a world of ‘mass production and a growing lack of individualism’ he is something of an anachronism, telling customers: “The only limits upon what you can have are your imagination and your budget.”
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