Today I’m going to show you how I make a silver bowl using just a few simple tools.
It’s basically one hammer, one piece of wood and some silver.
I might use another hammer and maybe a small dome stake towards the end but they really aren’t necessary, it’s only to indulge my love for hammers!
Using my dividers I mark out my circle on a sheet of silver. In this case I’m using .7mm silver and a 2.5inch disc.
I then cut out the disc with my piercing frame.
It is important before hammering that you file the sharp edges after cutting. I use a file and some emery paper. This is so you don’t risk catching your fingers on the sharp edges when moving the piece around the stake.
I then mark out circles around the disc so I can keep my hammer blows in an even row. These marks are just pencil lines that help me to keep my hammering along the same row and allow the bowl to be shaped uniformly.
This block is made out of a piece of 2″ x4″ wood that I’ve cut into 6″ lengths. Then using a dome head hammer you hammer a slight depression into the wood. This depression which is roughly the size of my hammer face will be what I use to form the curve of the bowl. I put the block of wood in the vice so I can begin sinking my bowl.
I begin by tilting the disc into the depression and then using firm even hammer blows sink the silver into the dip. I move the disc clockwise as the hammer remains in the same position. It is important to keep within the lines you have marked and also to keep your hammer blows even. When I have one round of hammering done I anneal and scratch brush the silver. This softens the silver and allows me to work the metal again. I repeat this until I get my desired curve. The bowl below is after three rounds of hammering on the wooden block.
Now I just need to finish and polish the bowl. I’ll put up the next set of pictures next week…