Scarlett Willow Designs

Jewellery is like a biography ~ a story that tells the many chapters of our life

traditional silversmith

On The Bench!

On The Bench!Scarlett Willow DesignsComment

The challenge set by my husband continues!  (Click here to read last weeks blog about this if you have no idea what I'm on about!)

The technique I used last week to get to the this.......

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.....is called hollowing or sinking.....hammering in a circular pattern from the centre and moving outwards, causing the silver to sink down.

To bring those edges up further and go from a dish to and egg cup, I needed to learn anther technique called raising.  This is the opposite to sinking although it looks like you're doing the exact same thing!  Raising brings up the sides by hammering the outside this time and forming it on a stake.  Hollowing, or sinking, was done with a wooden pear shaped hammer, raising is done with a metal hammer with a rectangular face with rounded edges.

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It's not easy holding something this small!  I really enjoyed this part, it happens so quickly. It looks like I've ruined it at this point! You can see from the picture above though that the diameter of the silver is getting smaller, working from the bottom up, and therefore gets taller too.

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Now that looks more like an egg cup! I love the texture from all those hammer blows but I need to smooth them out.  Next new technique is planishing!  A planishing hammer has a flat face and again, working in a circular motion from the centre of the base, these light taps of the hammer gently smooths the silver, each one overlapping the one before.

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I now need to decide on the base, finish smoothing and polishing the silver and it'll be finished!  More next week!

Workshop Wednesday....Just a Couple of Days Late!

On The Bench!, Workshop WednesdayScarlett Willow DesignsComment

So this week I have taken on a challenge set by my lovely husband! His birthday falls within days of Christmas so thinking of presents to cover both can be really tricky.  Husband has always loved a boiled egg or two for breakfast so has tasked me with making him an egg cup for birthday/Christmas.  This involves using skills that I don't yet possess so I have enlisted the help of someone who does!

And so we begin with a 75mm diameter disc of fine silver......fine silver is 99.9% pure and is softer than Sterling Silver (which is 92.5%) and therefore easier to shape.  My two tools for the job are a wooden bossing hammer, this looks like a wooden pear, and numerous blocks of wood that have a circular bowl shape set into them of various sizes and depths.  The silver disc is then hammered so the edges are bought up.  It's a bit difficult to describe so hopefully the pictures below will help!

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.......and this is where we're at so far! It doesn't look quite like an egg cup yet but it's getting there! I'll update again next week :-)