Andrew Vella Montague of AVM jewellery has been a silversmith for the last nine years. He is completely self-taught and is passionate about creating gorgeous pieces for his clients to enjoy… and show off!
When and how did you get started on your artisanal skills?
10 years ago, while still working for the government as a physiotherapist, I came across a metal-smithing course in the government gazette that focused on making plate armour (as worn by the knights). Having just missed the course by a week I decided that while waiting for the next course I’d make my own chainmaille armour. During my research for this chainmaille armour I discovered the glorious world of chainmaille jewellery and I was hooked!
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
Beautiful, elaborate pieces of jewellery that bring joy to the soul. (I hope!)
Do you have a favourite from among your own creations? If so, why?
Usually my favourite piece is the last one I’ve just created but I have to say that my current favourite is still PENTAMEROUS, a five-strand micro byzantine bracelet with custom slide clasp. First created last January I still find her delicate intricacy mesmerising…
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m working on a custom piece for a client. It’s a pendant made of a set of eight rings, four in gold and four in silver intertwined into a Mobius ring where each ring passes through all the others. It’s finished by a delicate Sapphire pendant hanging in the centre off the rings all on a delicate gold chain. It’s a birthday gift for an 80th birthday and so the eight rings represent eight decades and the Sapphire is her birth stone.
If you weren’t an artisan, what would you be?
I already was a physiotherapist but I guess since I like the technical aspect of creating jewellery I would mind being an engineer. I like solving problems.
What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Peace and quiet.
What do you love about Malta?
The climate, the colours, the history and the sea.
What do you hate about Malta?
The “laissez faire” attitude, the lack of cleanliness which is, admittedly, improving and the extreme polarisation in everything from sports to politics.
Favourite colour and what it means to you?
It’s always been blue – blue sky, blue sea; I find it calming and stimulating at the same time.
What is your favourite indulgence?
I’d have to say gaming; I love my strategy games, mainly on the PC, although it started with board games when I was younger.