Phil London passed away; founder of Florida Society of Goldsmiths
and Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths
It is with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart that I have to pass on
the sad news that Phil London has passed away on April 26th, 2013.
Phil was not only the founder and longtime president of the Florida
Society of Goldsmiths, he founded the Pennsylvania Society of
Goldsmiths, as well as founded the non-profit, Disability
Alternatives, which taught jewelry arts to those with physical
Phil London was the second person to be awarded The National
Metalsmiths Hall of Fame award which honors and celebrates the
outstanding contributions and achievements of artists, educators and
patrons that support the metal arts as well as receiving the PMC
Fusion award for his work with Disability Alternatives. Phil served
in World War II as well. His outgoing personality was instrumental in
bring together people to promote the art of metal working.
He is survived by his lovely wife Vicki London.
Wonderfully, a part of his cremated remains will be in the lovely
chalice he created, staying with Vicki, while a portion of his
cremains will be interred with the remains of his first wife Anita up
at Arlington, VA.
Many artists feel that they owe a part of their careers to Phil as
he provided technical education on the aspect of metalsmithing that
for generations was only available to a privileged few. Phil
encouraged others to share the knowledge and appreciation of metal
art and for this will be forever thankful.
Phil was a close personal friend. For those of you that were not
fortunate enough to meet him, he was a dynamo! My son, Austin, was 10
when he interviewed Phil for a school paper about life in the early
part of the 1900s. Phil told us that the town he grew up in only had
one phone. It was located in the general store and if someone
received a call they would pay you a penny to run and get them. He
enjoyed the penny candy and needless to say hung around the store
quite a bit. My son had such fun meeting Phil that 5 years later when
I mentioned I was going to take Phil out to lunch for his 90th
birthday, he begged to come along!
Jean Marie DeSpiegler
Florida Society of Goldsmiths