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1959 My entry into Stourbridge Art School - Age 14
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Anthony Avery

Anthony J Avery - Artist

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Early Days

Age 8

Anthony Avery"Even at eight years of age I was good at drawing. I remember one day drawing a picture in biro on a sheet of ceiling paper It was the biggest picture I’d ever drawn. It was the first time I’d ever used a biro pen, perhaps because biros were a new invention; I don’t know. It was fascinating to be able to draw a picture non-stop without having to stop and sharpen the pencil point.

The picture I’d drawn was of John Milton’s house. I’d copied it from a book and I’d put in every detail; each reed of the thatched roof, all the bricks and even the birds that nested in the eaves."

early watercolour

Age 16 First job: Trainee Silversmith.

The job advert read: "Wanted, young man with artistic abilities to train as a Silversmith."

"...The decision was made, and, before I could change my mind, my mother accompanied me by bus into the centre of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter for my first ever job interview."

Mr Jack Morris

"...In the works office, Mr Jack Morris, managing director of Ellis & Co, Silversmiths to the Trade, interviewed me and was very impressed with my portfolio. So impressed, he gave me a commission, there and then, to paint a picture of his pet cocker spaniel dog."

Harry Ingram - Silversmith

"...It was hard to imagine then, at that moment in time, how fond I was to become of this frail, grey haired, kind, gentle, seventy six year old, traditional craftsman, as he put me through my paces. And how I would come to respect and admire him. And how much I would come to learn, not only the trade, but about life in general, from his life. From the stories we would share as we worked together, of all the changes he had seen and experienced since his childhood in the eighteen nineties, when he was a lad just starting out.

I was to spend every working day, forty-two and a half hours a week for two years with that old man. I watched and listened and absorbed from his immense knowledge and skills, all there was to know about silversmithing. And in return I confided in him all the problems and anxieties of a teenager of that time, growing into adolescence, until one day, he died."

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