Having had the good fortune to find a studio, my latest effort ‘Watch Through Fingers’ (working), will be winging its way to the back recesses of some forgotten corner of the internet soon! Let’s say, September..
Here was a little experiment, one ill fated, expensive and RSI inducing. I suppose I should have taken the hint from the millennia old art of making singing bowls from a brass alloy, but I thought that it may have only been the prohibitive cost of silver that stopped the bowls being made out of the most sonorous metal. After all, silver bells are a known phenomena.
This shan’t turn into a metal-smithery tutorial, so suffice to say, the process is this. Heating the silver up so it expands, becoming softer (annealing), then bashing it evenly with a hammer from the centre out in concentric circles, so you stretch the metal uniformly, so it eventually curves up.
So, I got hold of a fat (2.5mm) circular sheet of annealed sterling silver, 20cm diameter, and got to work bashing the hell out of it, under the tutelage of Julian Stephens, a fine fine silversmith and jeweller in Brighton. Here’s how my toil went:
Shiny, pre-blemished disc
Curve starting to appear
More of a curve
Lines are there to help keep the hammer strikes consistently spread
Many hours. 30 in total I guess. And then 4 weeks unable to use my arms properly. See the copper prototype in the background.
And some more.
It varied in how it sounded as the process went on – sometimes hope dared to enter my delusions when a loud low rumble would emanate from the expensive lump when hit, but it never quite got to that sweet, fat resonating point.
So, many hours, and £360 worth of silver down, I have a heavy, thick bowl. I’m not the ornamental sort of gal, so I’m parting with it to put that money towards something that will aid in my search of the dulcet tones. Here is a link to the shop [link!!].
The website’s just been re-wizarded. There will be gaps and holes a-plenty for a few days.