Press Form Practice #5 – Britannia Silver

I bought my first piece of Britannia silver yesterday:

Britannia Silver

– it’s a lot like Sterling silver but while the Sterling stuff is 925 parts per thousand pure silver (the rest being an alloy of copper etc) Britannia is 958 parts per thousand pure silver.

This means that Britannia is a little softer than Sterling and much more suggestable. It stretches where Sterling might have cracked and is more cooperative for things like ambitious silversmithing and spinning.

So Britannia seemed just the thing when I was struggling to move my pressforming from beautiful, stretchy copper into unyielding sterling silver …

In terms of cutting, annealing and polishing I really can’t tell the difference between the two alloys but for overall stretchiness Britannia wins hands down.

Here’s how I got on with it:

It’s my first silver piece on the new press forms and I’m really pleased with how well it’s come out, now I just need to make some etching/finish decisions and I might have a range ready for the spring!

(blogged at Brewsmiths)

Press form practice …

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I got some time today to have a play with the fly press and work out some ideas for a new range that I want to take to the British Craft Trade Fair in April.

It’s nice to have development time but I’m also aware of my self imposed, end of March deadline to get all the work done! Here’s what I was thinking on today:

… more tomorrow, as well as an interesting Arts Trail meeting in Worcester …

Today in the workshop …

… has been a day of experimenting with some new ideas. It’s always an exciting time and, chances are these will evolve into something totally different, but here’s what I got through today:

a little drawing

some press form making

followed by press forming


and assembling

to be followed shortly but some etching, texturing, and maybe even a little drilling …

The New Fly Press

Bella, meet the world.

World, meet Bella.

She arrived in the studio back in the spring but its taken a long while to find someone to make some new pieces for her (I, sadly, do not have an engineer’s lathe):

and to get her bolted down to the worktop (a big thank you to Mr W for being braver than me and using the scary DIY drill)

*ta-da* She’s ready to go! Tomorrow I shall go on a hunt for some rubber samples, which I’ll need for making my own press tools in the next few weeks …