Anticlastic forming in the studio

I recently saw a sterling bracelet that was so beautiful that I
would like some on its construction.

The bracelet was an anticlastic design, with the sides winged as the
metal thinned.

My question is: is it possible to construct something like this
without heavy machinery? If so, what are the basics I would need?
Are there any books specific to this?

Thanks so much in advance.
(life begins at retirement)


The master of this hand formed art using stakes and hammers is
Michael Good. I think he is from Maine.

You may want to begin by checking out anything that has been written
about or by him.

Greg DeMark

“Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths” by Hekki Seppa isbn 0-87338-212-9 shows lots of new or good copies at about
$12 US

His book is a must have!! from an out of print source-- there are
many copies available and not expensive. Lots more in the book.

The next book is “Metals Technic” this includes an excellent chapter
by Michael Good… It contains other (fold forming etc) of
value too.


A book is being written be Betty Helen Longhi and Cynthia Eid on
Shell Forming which will cover that technique. There is also a GREAT
book by Hekki Seppa and in it is many shapes and techniques that can
get you started on the hammering processes.

Good Luck,

Of course I do not know the object you speak of but by your

-Flat sheet cut to the size you need for a bracelet plus some
material (anticlastic bracelets are smaller in size than a flat
bracelet of the same material, the more curve, the smaller).

  • Shape the bracelet, solder if you want it closed, clean excess

  • Use a cross-peined shaped plastic mallet and a Sinusoidal Stake
    held in a vice
    ( and start
    sinking the piece starting in the centre line (placed in the U area
    of the stake), then again next to that line on each side, repeat
    until whole piece is done (anneal and repeat as necessary for depth).

  • Cut, add hinges, or if already open… finish as normal in other

  • For flares and metal reduction, do these while still flat stock…
    metal hammers and metal anvil… basic silver smithing techniques…
    metal moves away from a pein/cross-pein hammer (along the longer
    sides of the hammer face)

  • Convex and near flat faces are for planishing (removing all the
    small waves and irregularities of the metal to allow a shiny/mirror
    surface to be had). Goldsmith file and sand, silversmiths do not… I
    simply use both techniques as a hybrid gold/silver smith (if I mess
    up raising a goblet I am willing to cut the lip even, file, sand and
    polish – a European Master Silversmith would not… conversely they
    have firescale).

Note: For a truly interesting exercise try making a torus
(Torus - Wikipedia)… start flat, make anticlastic
until you can start working the edges sinclastically, close and
solder … very hard on the metal, anneal often (a stake #90 or
similar shape is useful at this stage –

Hope this helps you get stated and to know that you can do this with
minimal expense (even less if you make some/all your own tools).

K. David Woolley
Fredericton, NB
Diversiform Metal Art & Jewellery

You can also use a sinosoidal stake to create these forms. I found
Hekki Seppa’s book very confusing. The stake is a wavy steel
configuration and I believe Allcraft (NY) sells it. The hammer used
is a delrin hammer with a wedge shape on one end. It is fun to do,
the stake causes the metal to curl up.

jennifer friedman

The master of this hand formed art using stakes and hammers is
Michael Good. I think he is from Maine. You may want to begin by
checking out anything that has been written about or by him.

Michael Good derived what he does from the work of Heikke Seppa who
wrote. a book.

Richard Hart

The July 2007 issue of Jewelry Artist magazine has a wonderful
article by Michael Good on anticlastic raising. The cover photo is a
pair of his anticlast 22K gold and patinated bronze earrings. This is
a great article to have, beautiful images of Michael’s work and
excellent illustrations of the technique and process.

Michael David Sturlin

Dear Karen

For anticlastic bangles you dont necessarily need heavy duty
machinery…I made a few forged anticlastic bangles in my career and
they have come out beautifully…(if is do say so myself;-)

I was taught this method by a college friend…

Take a piece of wood…either MDF or pine…something
soft…depending on the width of the bangle, if u are making a bangle
of two inch width then try a block of wood that is about an inch
thick and 5 inches wide and about 10 inches long…these dimesions of
the wooden block are not definates, just s guide, but the thickness
is the most important aspect of consideration…if u take the block
longitudinally measure half way between 5 inches and cut a “U” shape
(or file it, depending on the depth that you want for the braclet)
and round off the bottom of the “U” with a half round file…about
an inch and half down from the base of the"U" cut out a circular hole
wider than the width of your metal sheet for your bangle…(this is
for the bangle to pass through as you are forming it)…

Now take your silver sheet (or whatever metal you are using, the
soft the metal the better) and anneal. Place in a swedge block and
half round the metal to the depth you want your bangle to be…

Then put your wooden block into a bench vice with the “U” at the top
and the hole exposed…place your half curved metal in the “U” and
use a soft malet that’f head fits into the “U”, and hit with a
"pulling down" action, the plate will start to curve into a
bangle…asit curves allow it to go through the hole in the wooden
block and keep hitting…after it has formed a basic bangle shape
then put it in a bowl of pitch and smooth out the areas that need it
with a ball punch that is slighlty smaller in diameter than the width
of the bangle…

It would be clearer if i was to diagram it out for you…but i dont
have anything on paper for this technique…

Let me know how it comes out…

Raakhi Gadodia

Dear Karen

Anti-clastic raising is one of the most wonderful disciplines in
Jewellery making that I have found. I went on a course at the John
Cass School of Jewellery in London a couple of years ago and have
been using these skills on and off ever since.

You do not need any heavy machinery but you do need to source some
specialist tools;-

i) A steel anti-clastic or Sinusoidal stake. I had a black-smith
make one for me (I have some photos if you would like me to send them
directly to you)

ii) A nylon or wooden hammer - I don’t use one at the moment, but
you if you use metal stake & metal hammer you will, in theory, move
too much metal

and then the reverse

i) A nylon sinusoidal stake

ii) A small metal hammer

I don’t know of any books on this matter - I have some notes from my
course that I can look out if you need more Otherwise
the discipline is much like ordinary forging. You use the metal stake
to cause the metal to fold in on itself (like making a tube) and then
use the nylon stake to bend the metal round into a bracelet shape.
Iterate from one to the other until you have bent the metal into a U
shape and achieved the full circle or spiral shape that you are
after, obviuosly with repeated annealing as necessary. You then tap
the metal over very gently to seal up the edges and (if you want)
solder together.

You can use very thin metal, maybe 0.7mm for silever and 0.5mm for
gold, particularly if you are not soldering as the oppsing curves of
the anticlastic shape are incredibly strong.

Good luck

Miland Suess makes both anticlastic and synclastic forming pliers. I
have several of his tools and find them very useful.

It’s In The Works Studio

You can look at my bracelet on the Orchid galleries and an example.
For that piece I started with a piece of sheet that was 10 inches by
4 inches and the bracelet ended up fitting perfectly. I made my own
form out of maple to create the curve. You can use pine but the
harder wood lasts longer. I always keep pieces of wood in the studio
and rasps to create any curve or tool to move the metal smoothly. I
also, thanks to Jack Da Silva, make my own sinusoidal stakes from
drift pins. The key to these curves is knowing where to strike the
metal to generate the curves you desire. I studied with Betty Helen
Longhi and she is really a great teacher. Jack Da Silva is a great
teacher too. Both of these instructors are very well worth the money
and time.


We manufacture and sell the wedge shaped Delrin hammer for doing this
as well as some other jewelry tools. is for sale | HugeDomains
will get you details on the hammer. will get you
to our online store where you can purchase the hammer.

A2Z Corp
A2Z CNC division