Tag Archives: metal work

Making A Tiny Silver Bowl

A while ago I got a large amount of my grandfathers old silversmithing tools that had been sitting in storage for ages. With the tools was a reasonable amount of silver as well so I figured I would try my hand at making some jewelry. That never really worked because I couldn’t get the soldering to work properly so instead I decided to basically reuse skills I already had and do a bit more dishing (see article on making a helmet) and the best way I could think to do that was to make a uselessly small bowl. making the bowl, doesn’t actually only require dishing, I also used raising, which involves increasing the curvature by hammering the piece over a ball stake (raising doesn’t always have to be on a ball stake, it can be on many different shapes but in this case it was a ball). I have to admit that my memory is not very good for this project so I do not know how I did specific bits such as small convex curve at the bottom or the rim. 

How I Made It

For the dishing I used A tool called a doming block and a small ball peen hammer. This was simply hammering into the appropriately sized form until roughly the right depth was achieved. At that point I moved onto raising. The advantage of raising over dishing is that it can be used to give more varied curvature than dishing, as you can hopefully see the in the edge of the bowl. The process for raising is fairly like dishing but in reverse. The piece is placed on the stake with the convex side facing up and then, using a flat narrow headed hammer, you strike slightly away from the point of contact between the piece and the stake, which move that bit of the metal down into the space. Then move the piece round and repeat around the surface until the desired shape is reached. 

The rim is flared out and also curved under itself to give a clean rounded edge. I am now not sure in which order I did these operations. I am thinking that it is more likely that I flared out a double width rim and then folded half of it back under. To do this I would have to hammered it around a sharp edge of some sort but I do not remember exactly what I used. Once it was done I hammered around the rim with the edge of a square hammer against a flat surface to put in the decorative lines. 

For the dent in the bottom I think the most likely way I did it is, once the rest was finished, I placed it upside down and then just hit the bottom with a ball peen hammer. 

Then to finish it up I polished it up with some emery polishing paper and then a small polishing wheel on a Dremel.

That concludes the making of a tiny and useless bowl. It is mainly good as an exercise for practicing techniques on a smaller scale.