Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


‘Contour’ is a desk set which was commissioned by The Silver Trust for the Prime Minister’s desk at 10 Downing Street. The commission, which is the only piece in the collection from Northern Ireland, was funded with a Major Individual Arts Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The research applied design methodologies towards the creation of a new piece of silverware, which incorporated enamel, exploring form and colour relevant to Murphy’s concept of the silver landscape for the table. Collaboration was a key element to the research process. Murphy commissioned the wood and enamel to her specifications. The enamel was completed by Deirdre McCrory. The wenge wood created by furniture designer, Jeremy Suffern.Contour is a functional item for the desk, which includes a blotter, a clock, penholders and a paper holder. It explores the interaction of the user with the piece, allowing the user to create different combinations.Discussions, photographs, drawings, models and observation notes documented how users engaged with the prototypes and artefact. Research explored how the enamel integrated with the artefact. As enamel is glass it was important to overcome design issues that arose to ensure the surface and edge were of quality and that the object maintained its functionality. The research also explored the surface under the enamel - experimenting with different surfaces to resolve the finish visible through the transparent enamel. Exploring colours which work with the silver and evoke the aura of the natural landscape and a sense of green fields was important throughout the process.
Original languageEnglish
Place of Publication10 Downing Street, London
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2011
EventThe Silver Trust Collection at Downing Street - 10 Downing Street, London
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …

Bibliographical note

Outputmediatype: Silver, enamel and wenge


  • silver
  • deskset
  • Prime Minister
  • enamel
  • clock
  • pen


Dive into the research topics of 'Contour'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this