Making Your Own Tools

Medieval smiths
Medieval Silversmiths in their Workshop, Niklaus Manuel, 1515

A craftsman would be nothing without his tools. Ask any maker and whatever material they work in, whether it’s wood, ceramics or textiles, they will tell you that they have a favourite tool. It goes without saying that different tools are suited to different techniques: in our case, a forging hammer is very different from a planishing hammer, for example. Sometimes, the only way to get a tool that fulfils a specific requirement is to make it yourself. We have been designing a lot of vases and carafes this year and, as a result, we have been making our own raising and planishing stakes, which we use to raise the shape of each vessel in britannia silver. The stakes themselves are made from steel; hammered, filed and ground into the desired shape.

Portrait of a Workshop

Brett Payne-210417-170

Over a trillion photographs will have been taken worldwide before the end of this year. It’s never been easier to show others where you are and what you’re doing at any given moment of the day. The trick, it seems, is to remember to take the picture in the first place! All too often we get caught up in what we’re doing in the workshop and only once a task is completed does it occur to us that it might have made an interesting video or photo.

Over the last few weeks, photographer Ben Boswell and filmmaker Mathy Selvakumaran have photographed and filmed us on two separate ordinary days in the workshop. The resulting photographs (below) and short film (above) capture the day-to-day detail of our workshop – the things and the faces that aren’t usually the focus of our posts.