Lately I have been challenged by a 15 mm thick piece of pure silver. It was given to me without limitations, only with the remark to “make something out of it”.
A challenge I can appreciate.
15 millimeter thick silver isn’t direct working material. It needs to be worked to be able to do something with it. And I wanted to FoldForm with it so it had to be a LOT thinner!
I decided to hammer it down. Pure silver is soft enough to do so (on the 1st picture you see the dimples of the hammer in the soft silver).
Well... it was quite a challenge.
It took numerous hammering sessions and a lot of annealing (making silver soft by heating it up to 400C) to end up with 3 mm thick silver. I now know how the goldsmiths in Egypt must have felt and I even have steel tools.
If you want to see me hammering, click this link to my YouTube channel (film made by JP my son).
After 3 mm I started to use the rolling mill to end up with a 0,5 mm thick silver strip, this is picture 2.
From a relative small part of this strip I cut of a piece (3rd picture) so I could make a FoldForm pendant which Esther now wears with pleasure. (the last 2 pictures)
What I am going to do with the rest of the silver hasn't been decided but I will definately tell in a next blogpost.
What is FoldForming?
Through folding and forging thin metal you can quickly get large objects that resemble forms in Nature. It is done by using natural characteristics of metal which by a hammer blow develops a certain stiffness. Pieces made with this technique develop a structural strength even when you use pure silver.
This technique is developed by Charles Lewton-Brain.
He explains it in depth on his website www.brainpress.com