30 June 2013

Silversmithing in Middelaldercentret

The course I took in Fredericia was in April. It took me some months to complete a small set of  tools to be able to start working with the new technique in a medieval workshop.
 I got really lucky, an old silversmith has presented me some old tools. Some of them I could with out any adjustments use in the workshop, some needed a bit of work to make them look like thoes from the iconography.

A small anvil, a stake for rising the vessel and two hammers, one made of steel and the second made of horn.

Here is some more photos:

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Taking a course in silversmithing.

As I was browsing the images of the workshops from the Middle ages I could often see some silversmith work, beside of making smaller jewels.
A late 15th century workshop by the Master of Bileam showing St Eligius at work

It seems that the goldsmith and silversmith was actually a same craft in Middle ages.

 Than if I want to call myself a medieval goldsmith, there is no choice but grab a hammer and shape some vessels.
St. Eligius at work by Niclaus Manuel 1515

Good for me that Denmark is still a place where silversmithing craft that is doing quite well and it is still a part of the "precious smiths" training.

I took the trip to Fredericia one of the schools for goldsmiths to take part in a course.
Two weeks with different types of hammers. anvils, stakes, mallets etc.

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It was a great fun!
But honestly I did not imagine that this is such a slow process.

Shaping a vessel takes days or even weeks and hundreds of thousands of hammer strikes. Than there is still some more hammering with the planishing hammer to smooth and polish the surface.
I also discovered that it has much more similarities to armour-making than I thought. Good I do not have to work with a glowing-hot metal to shape it.

Now I need to introduce this technique to my medieval workshop.