Robert Welch (1929 – 2000) English designer and silversmith

Robert Welch silversmith and designer

Robert Radford Welch (1929 – 2000) was an English designer and silversmith.


He studied painting at the Malvern School of Art under Victor Moody from 1946 to 1947 and 1949 to 1950. Silversmithing at Birmingham College of Art between 1950 and 1952. Between 1952 and 1955, he studied silversmithing at the Royal College of Art in London, mentored by Robert Gooden.


In 1955, he opened his studio in Chipping Campden, following in the footsteps of the Arts and Crafts designers who had previously worked at C.R. Ashbee’s Guild of Handicrafts.

He worked as a consultant designer for Old Hall Tableware from 1955 to 1959 and designed a stainless-steel toast rack for them. Flatware, enamel steel pieces, lighting, door furniture, alarm clocks, bathroom fixtures, and cast-iron cooking utensils were among his specialty designs and items.

Silverware set designed by Robert Welch
Silverware set designed by Robert Welch

Welch visited Scandinavia four times as a student, studying in Stockholm and working with Norwegian silversmith Theodor Olsen. He was deeply influenced by Scandinavian modernism, which instilled in him a love of practical precision and the clean line. He was inspired by Scandinavian architecture after visiting Sweden and Norway in 1953 and 1954. He chose to concentrate his studies on designing for stainless steel in his final year at the Royal College of Art, writing his thesis on The Design and Production of Stainless Steel Tableware and concentrating his final projects on improving its look.

He was a professor at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts from 1956 to 1959 and the Royal College of Art from 1960 to 1971.

He made cast-iron and enamel cookware for Prinz in 1966 and Lauffer in 1970, stoneware for Brixham Pottery in 1970, clocks for Westclox, and lamps for Lumitron, among other items for private commissions and manufacturers. He added a retail store to his studio in 1969. His professional knife line, released by Kitchen Devil in 1979, was widely publicised.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The Design Encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, May 4). Robert Welch (designer). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:07, May 15, 2021, from

You may also be interested in

Erna Zarges-Dürr (1907-2002) – German silversmith – Encyclopedia of Design

Erna Zarges-Dürr (1907-2002) was a German silversmith. She was professionally active Pforzheim, Leipzig, Berlin. and Stuttgart. Between 1924-27, she trained at Bruckmann und Söhne, Heilbronn, as the first women in the silversmiths’ department. From 1927, she studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Pforzheim, under Theodor Wende and others.

Julius Olaf Randahl (1880 – 1972) Swedish silversmith – Encyclopedia of Design

Julius Olaf Randahl (1880 – 1972) was a Swedish silversmith. He worked in both New York and Chicago. In 1901, he moved to New York and worked for Tiffany and Gorham Manufacturing. In 1907, he worked at the Kalo Shop in Chicago before opening his own Randahl Shop in Park Ridge, Illinois, in 1911.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.