Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics. What better way, we thought, to start the cycle of a new year in the workshop than to remind ourselves of the cycle that each piece of silverware goes through on its way to your dining table!
At any given time there are a variety of different pieces being made in the workshop, all at different stages of completion. Here is a quick step-by-step look at the key stages in the cycle:
Raw Materials! Most of our pieces start life as rolls or bars like these, ready to be forged into shape.
Hot forging. This is the noisy part! Hot-forging is a stripped down, elemental process – all you need is heat, a hammer and an anvil. This is the formative stage in the making of the piece, where the raw materials are really manipulated into becoming the object you want them to be. Check out our website for videos of hot-forging in action – we recommend you turn down the volume though!
Filing. After all that hammering the surface of the metal is smoothed and finished off with a file – similar to one you might use for your fingernails but BIGGER!
Hallmarking. We send all of our pieces to the Sheffield Assay Office for hallmarking. We use the full set of five British hallmarks. Much of our work is hallmarked with a laser tool which creates crisp, deep marks without damaging or warping the surface of the silver.
Polishing. At this stage, the piece is basically finished and just needs cleaning up a bit. We use a fine ‘rouge’ paste and a machine with large soft ‘mops’ or wheels to polish it and bring out that gorgeous shine.
Sale/Delivery. This is where you come in! Perhaps the most crucial stage in the cycle, certainly the most enjoyable for us, is the handing-over of the piece to its new owner. In the same way that every piece we make is unique, every home that we deliver to welcomes and assimilates the work in its own special way. What better inspiration could there be to get back to the workshop and start the cycle all over again?!