Forged Silver Cheese Knife
I am constantly asked how I make my silver pieces, so I am highlighting some of my processes on my website Blog to give insight into my handcrafted techniques. All of my designs are created with sterling silver sheet and wire through skilled fabrication techniques. Each object is made individually by my hands and I do not use casting or other mass manufacturing processes. For this blog post, my forged silver cheese knife illustrates one way I use forging in my silversmithing work.
Forging is a traditional metalsmithing technique that moves the metal by hammering the surface, and I mainly use this on flatware and utensils, because it gives the silver immense strength. Using a heavy hammer, forging stretches the metal and creates tension and toughness at the molecular level. Durability is of the upmost importance for functional objects and silver gains enough strength to hold its form precisely when work-hardened. Additionally, silver’s natural antiseptic properties make it the ideal medium for flatware and serving utensils.
I begin my cheese knife by forging the shape from thick, solid sterling silver sheet. The blank begins smaller than the final form because it enlarges and expands during the hammering process on the dense steel block.
Next, I work the blade with a large planishing hammer to smooth the deep forging marks out of it and further refine the shape.
The hammer marks are then removed and the blade edge is honed razor sharp so that it will slice easily and work effectively. Finally, the entire knife is brought to a high shine on the polishing machine.
Polishing is another highly skilled process I will discuss in a future Blog post, so stay tuned.
My silver spreader is made the same way, so check out that piece in my website Shop as well!
For more information on how I handcraft my designs, visit the Handcrafted Process page on my website. Thank you for your interest in my silversmithing work!