Vicki Ambery-Smith is one of the country’s leading silversmiths, with work in major collections around the world. She specialises in creating tiny, exquisitely beautiful sculptures of buildings that can be worn as jewellery. We discuss how she designs and creates these tiny works of art and explore how her skills in the workshop are an expression of the human relationships she develops with those who commission her work. In the process we uncover unexpected similarities with the world of medicine.
Simon Chaplin’s varied career has included studying history and philosophy of science, directing the Museum and Special Collections at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, heading the Wellcome Library and becoming Director of Culture and Society at Wellcome Trust and Director of the Wellcome Collection. We explore our different perspectives on anatomical museums and their contents, drawing on Simon’s engagement with the physicality of anatomical specimens and my experience of dissection and prosection. The conversation ranges from the disciplines of close observation to the skills of maintaining old tractor engines before exploring what has prompted us both to take unexpected directions in our careers.