Master craftsman Simon Caldicott dies aged 62

Theo Fennell has announced the passing of Simon Caldicott, the award-winning master craftsman, mounter, model maker and small worker who spent nearly forty years working for the designer.

Caldicott passed away at the age of 62, following a short illness. 

A statement issued by designer Theo Fennell said: “I am deeply sad to have to write that Simon Caldicott died this Wednesday. He was 62. He had been ill since before last Christmas and knew he had little time to live.

Typically of Simon, he took this news with great bravery and stoicism. His first thoughts were to make everything as simple as possible for others, especially Kate, his much loved wife, and then to continue at his bench which he did until only a few days ago when it became impossible. 

Simon came to see me out of the blue with some of his work more or less straight out of College and I offered him a job on the spot; we then sorted out the details as we went along.

We worked together for nearly forty years. He never worked anywhere else, and I don’t think anyone but him could have produced many of our more complicated and outlandish pieces, especially in the early days.

He was a consummate craftsman, one of the very best of his generation. Although he was a goldsmith and mounter he was also a fantastic silversmith and smallworker. Indeed he won his Jacques Cartier Memorial Award, the highest award a craftsman can win in our trade, for an exquisite miniature silver motorbike.

He was considerably larger than life, as so many great craftsmen are, and besides his brilliant smithing he was a very accomplished and loud drummer, did the Times crossword every day in a few minutes and a great lover of country pursuits.

He was steeped in the traditions of his trade and was deeply proud to be a Freeman of the Goldsmith’s company and he was always open with technical help and information for his fellow craftsmen.

To be as good as he was requires not just great natural talent and dexterity but passion and tenacity. He was a very hard worker but his industriousness was made easy by his exceptional pride in and love for what he did.

He was a terrific character, wonderful company and a loyal friend. He was honest and decent and I was proud to be his friend and work with him for so many years. He was always allowed to use his mark on our designs that he made, so he always knew that those wonderfully crafted pieces would delight and bear his name for generations and nothing thrilled him more.

Our thoughts now are with Kate and his two stepsons. Our workshop and, indeed, the trade will be a less colourful place without him. I don’t know of any career or ethos that a young craftsperson could better seek to emulate than his.”