Friday, August 1, 2008

Hand Wrought Spoons

It facinates me to watch a blank of metal formed into a item of utility. The process and steps required to make a spoon is truly wondrous and I am in awe of the smiths who daily make flatware.

My interest in making spoons began several years ago by collecting American 18th & 19th century examples at estate sales and antique shops. I also became collecting the flatware made during the Arts & Crafts Movement and modern silversmiths who make flatware.

Here are images of spoon sequences and examples of some of my spoons This is a link to the documentation of how I forge spoons.
Spoon Making Sequence



lk said...

Hi, Fred.
I'm the one who began to make spoons
after seeing your "step by step" pictures...
(oh, what you have started...)
I am having trouble annealing sterling silver.
I would love to try a spoon...
I traded a piece of sterling from Rio
for pay, from the people I work for now and then....

I have used fine silver, which is very nice...
but want to try sterling.

Is sterling all the same?
Or is there a specific kind of sterling I am supposed to be using?

I used the premixed flux they provided me with..
which they've used for years...
telling me, when it becomes smooth and clear...
and the silver just begins to turn pink...
it is annealed.

A friend in Argentina tells me to use borax
bring it to red and let it cool on it's own....

I'm using only little pieces
as this experimenting can become expensive!
I might be able to talk some time out of a
woman near Madison who uses silver....
maybe I just need to watch this process many times.

Do you have any suggestions..
helpful hints..
ways that you think about this while annealing
that might help me pay attention is a different way?

I would be very appreciative of any advice you might be able to toss my way...


Fred Zweig said...

Hi Linda,

There is no mystery to annealing silver. I suggest you make sure you are NOT doing it under bright lights. Chose a spot where the light is shaded or darken the room so you can see the color change of your metal.

A borax flux does do well to indicate annealing. You should always coat the silver with flux to help prevent firescale. The flux will bubble and turn white when you start and once the flux turns clear you have annealed the silver. Note that the glow of the silver will be dark red when you pull the flame away.

Once you have annealed the silver.... wait until the glow of the metal dissapears and then plunge it into the pickle. I use sodium bisulphate disolved in water and in a crock pot.

Annealing a thick piece of silver takes a bit longer since there is more metal. Be patient and in time you will figure it out.

Hope this helps,

lama said...

Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!
A soup spoons is a type of spoon with a large or rounded bowl, used for eating soup.