In remembrance of Leslie Denholm

Mar 31 2020

 This blog is in memory of Jane Leslie Denholm.  Born in Scotland, raised in Africa, she came to the US somewhere in the 1950's for her husband was invited to work in the States.   She took up silversmithing, and joined the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society ( LACS) in 1965.    I met her when I started teaching at LACS to teach a morning class and an evening class.   I didn't realized at that time, but she took a shine to me.    She gifted me a big stash of pure mohair yarn, mostly from the 1960's which I incorporated in my knitting.   

Years go by, I continued to teach the morning class at LACS, and she was always in my morning class.  Then she stopped coming, to care for her ailing husband.    After that, I saw her very infrequently.  She was quite the character, tiny, spunky, this thick Scottish burr and she was a gardening fanatic.

A few more years went by, and I got a call from her.  She said she had some things to give to me.   She gave me a gift I wouldn't be able to repay.  She gifted me much of her studio tools, supplies, materials, even a 12 place setting dishes, a 1925 Singer sewing machine with a knee lever ( apparently some early sewing machines use a knee lever rather than a foot pedal) which I still yet have to try.    Those all came at a time I was not in a good place, mentally, so I was deeply touched with her generosity.  She thought of me and her gifts really helped me in my metal work.

The last time I saw her, she gifted me with some of her jewelry that she made over the decades.   She was a very talented silversmith, who could have gone on to be a successful jeweler, but it seems silversmithing was her passion.    In some ways, I'm sorry the world is deprived of Leslie - she was truly gifted and the silversmithing world lost an unique soul.  Since she was known in the Metalworkers Guild, I gave some of her jewelry to some of the other Metalworker members who knew her so they would have something of hers.

The pics of her jewelry that I had so it shows what she created and was capable of.  She also did enamelled plates, silver flowers and much more - she had a wide range of skills and work.   She did things I don't think I could have done so it shows just how skilled she was, and how original some of her designs were.   I took a pair of clip back earrings and made one of them into a ring so that I carry a piece of Leslie with me daily. 

Last December, I got an email from her son, who let me know Leslie passed away.  She was in her late 80's.  I miss her spunkiness, her work ethics, her willingness.   You are missed, and may you rest in peace.

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