Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


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This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Working with Silver and Copper

On Friday I had a taster lesson in silversmithing with Aileen Hamilton at her studio in Redhill
 (details here )
 I thoroughly enjoyed trying something new and it was a treat to learn with Aileen.
She showed me some techniques and we tried them out on copper first.
I tried embossing the copper with various hammers and stamp like tools
Photos below
Top and bottom right
Amazingly the embossing on the top and bottom left were done by a dried leaf and some lace. These would be too fragile to hammer so each was laid on a piece of copper and were passed through a roller mill.

 Some of the tools I used.

To emboss the copper I hit the top of this tool several times with a hammer.

Annealing  The copper is heated then cooled in water to make the metal softer to bend. 

 Here the ring has been shaped, soldered and cleaned ready to be filed and polished.

I then chose how to decorate the silver. I enjoyed this part the best.
I then went through the other processes as described above for the copper ring.

Here I am trimming the ring to my size.

 and here it is soldered, cleaned filed and polished. I am pleased with the result and most satisfying to try something new to me and have some insights into an age old craft that goes back millennia.