American Colonial Silversmith Demonstration



historic Deerfield asked me to make a piece from the early 18th century right around the time of the 1704 attack on Deerfield and I saw the John Coney coddle Cup which was from that period got the very interesting chase detail the good ruining around the perimeter and to handles the coddle cup comes from the Latin word for cauldron coddle is a warm liquid for the sick I take a disc of silver first anneal it which is to heat red-hot which essentially makes the silver more malleable quench the silver and begin hammering first into hollows in wood stumps which creates a shallow bowl and then gradually hammering over the top called raising over steel anvils and states periodically I stopped to rien ill because as you hammer the silver work hardens and becomes more brittle and harder to move with a hammer eventually as I raised the piece up and check it with the dimensions in the drawing at some point I come to the finished shape of the body once I have a straight sided fairly deep cup my next challenge is to make the hammered shoulders at this point I use different shaped anvils that follow the contour of the shoulders exactly and I work around those with the hammer until final shape is achieved the handle has contour with a central rib down the center and two edging lines or moldings on either side in order to make that handle I first make a die in steel block by grinding and filing until I get the contour of the top face that I'm looking for I will anneal two or three times in the course of about three hammerings the next step is to fill the cotton cup with pitch it's a black natural substance which you warm up and it flows into the cup I place the the cup into the pitch to hold it so that it doesn't move while I'm hammering the pitch serves to support the silver everywhere but where the exact face of the chasing tool strikes chasing tools come in many different shapes curved and straight lines to round and oval domes and all sorts of other types of shape you

2 Comments

  • Leman Russ

    April 14, 2019

    And he is wearing white, the whole time… Jeez what a pro!

    Reply
  • Leman Russ

    April 14, 2019

    STEPHAN SMITHERS!!!!! AHAHAHA!
    All makes sense now, Ol' Smithy!

    Excellent video, in all seriousness.

    Reply

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