GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Please find below a glossary of silversmithing terms and tools.
Traditionally, a vessel was raised by hammering silver sheet over an anvil. The hammer marks would be filed out to produce the best possible surface.
The process by which a hardened piece of metal is made malleable. Silver becomes hard through processes such as hammering, spinning and stamping. By heating it until it is a dull red and then allowing it to cool, it becomes workable.
Caulking is the process of hammering the edge of a raised piece of silver to thicken the rim.
The process of hammering the external surface to produce an improved overall finish. Today the resulting effect is commonly known as a hammered finish.
Modern technique used to produce a shape from a disc of silver. The silver disc is held against a wooden or metal former and spun on a lathe; a tool is then used to press the silver disc up onto the former.
This is when the edge of the silver is turned back on itself to produce a thick or hollow rim.
Describes how a design is cut through silver. The design is usually engraved on the object and a piercing saw is then used to cut out the design.
A style of decoration where a second layer of silver is pierced and placed against the main element creating a stepped design.
Process in which silver is removed from the surface to create a design or inscription using a graving tool. Facsimile engraving replicates an individual's handwriting and provides the ultimate personal touch.
A technique to produce a three-dimensional design, the silver is chased using numerous punches and a hammer. Repousé chasing is heavily ornate and deep, whereas linear chasing looks a little like engraving.
Elements of a silver piece are heated during various processes such as soldering or annealing. This results in a grey staining on the surface of the metal which is removed during the polishing process.
The natural process of silver reacting with moisture and chemicals in the atmosphere.
The colour and feel silver acquires over a period of time through use and hand-polishing.
The traditional weight measure for precious metals (31.1035 grams), slightly heavier than the imperial ounce.