The Craft of Hand Forging

The image below visualises the different stages within hand forging a spoon. This process is incredibly specialised and dates back centuries. Good hand forger's create beautiful, wonderfully balanced cutlery of superior quality.

STAGE 1: The silver blank is cold forged. This involves hitting it with with a hammer, before applying heat. The cutler then marks a line on the bar to separate the handle section from the bowl of the spoon.

STAGE 2: Once the blank has been cold forged, it is then annealed under a blow torch to make it red hot.

STAGE 3: The blank is then struck with a hammer several times. The malleable properties of silver allows the cutler to move the metal to the appropriate place. As the silver is worked and begins to cool, it gets harder and has to be repeatedly annealed.

STAGE 4: Once the spoon has been shaped, it is put into a hydraulic press with a die which produces the heel or tail of the back of the spoon. The spoon is then clipped and filed to ensure it fits properly into the bowling punch.

STAGE 5: In this stage, soft molten tin is poured into the depth of the bowling punch. When it solidifies it creates a female and male die. This shapes the bowl, when the bowl punch is struck into the tin.

STAGE 7: The spoon is taken out of the press and hammered again, to set it into position. It is then clamped into a vice, and filed. This is known as striking off.

STAGE 8: The spoon returns to the forge. If it needs a pattern it is stamped using a cutlery die with another hydraulic press, the forger then removes all excess metal with a file, evening the surface to the right size.

STAGE 9: The spoon is then sent off to the Assay office. Here they test the purity to ensure it reaches the sterling silver standard before being hallmarked.

STAGE 10: It is after the spoon has been returned back from the Assay office with a hallmark that it receives its final touches. The spoon is filed one more time, before it receives its final 'buff up'. This process makes polishing the spoon easier - as it provides a smoother surface.