Mak­ing a bowl

The Shed - - Silversmith -

the sur­face that is cre­ated by ham­mer­ing from in­side the item.

Nicola forges her own chas­ing tools and stores them in sealed plas­tic con­tain­ers to keep then dust-free. She draws her de­sign with a fine-tipped marker pen then taps fine steel tools along the lines with a re­poussé ham­mer, form­ing in­den­ta­tions. “I liken it to draw­ing with my tools. It’s del­i­cate work. You need a steady hand and good eye­sight,” says Nicola, who also uses fine Dremel den­tal tools for tex­ture and de­tail. “They are good for get­ting into tricky places and it is help­ful to clean off scratches and fire scale.”

If the bowl has a base, it is sol­dered on be­fore pol­ish­ing. Nicola dons an apron and gloves for the pol­ish­ing process (11 and 12). She first uses Tripoli black nugget to cut out any scratches and fire scale, then washes the piece and moves on to the sec­ond pol­isher, where a fine rouge is ap­plied to the spin­ning mops to give a highly pol­ished fin­ish (13).

It takes Nicola 10–12 hours to make a small bowl such as the one pic­tured here. To view more of Nicola’s sil­ver­ware and see a video of her at work, check out roake­sil­ver.com.

“We need to have people mak­ing things that last more than five min­utes”

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