Jocelyn Broyles, My name is David Baggaley
The following is taken from my web site I thought it might be helpful
What is Handforged Flatware
‘Handforged’, ‘Handmade’, ‘Handcrafted’ and ‘Handwrought’ all have
the same meaning. This is the original way that flatware, or spoons
and forks, have been made for hundreds of years, before the inferior
machine made flatware became commonplace.
To sum it up, a ‘Handforged’ spoon is much tougher than a machine
made spoon. It has extra thickness where needed and has the strength
of sprung steel, and because of this hardness it does not scratch as
During the handforging process the spoon will have been hit with a
hammer over 300 hundred times ! A machine made spoon recieves one or
two blows from a press.
A 200 year old hand made spoon will often be found in better
condition than a 50 year old machine made spoon.
It is true that a handmade spoon will be more expensive to buy
because of the time and craftsman’s skill involved, but it will last
for generations. A machine made spoon will not.
To make a spoon, a bar of silver is marked up to the correct
proportions for the bowl and handle.
It is then heated until red hot and held in tongs and using the
hammer and anvil, beaten into shape. The tip of the bar is pointed
to form the tip of the bowl. it is then hammered to form the bowl.
If a heel is to be added then a section down the centre is left
The edges of the bowl and the tip of the spoon are left thicker as
this is where most of the thickness is needed. The handle is then
started and hammered out to length going from thick at the neck and
gradually tapering down in thickness giving a truly 3 dimensional
and balanced feel. During this process the piece becomes very hard
and has to be annealed several times, then worked again until the
final shape is achieved.
The handle and top end are then shaped using a file. The piece is
held in a vice or held in the hand. The bowl is filed to shape,
often using a metal template. The bowl is then formed using a tin
cake and spoon stake. The molten tin is poured around the spoon
stake and left to harden. The handle is then bent down to 45
degrees. The spoon is then hammered into the tin using the spoon
stake and a heavy hammer, this forms the bowl.
The bend in the handle is then adjusted to match the other pieces
and so it sits correctly on the table. The bowl is then filed level
The surfaces are filed to remove the fire stain from the surface. It
is then buffed to remove any file marks and fire stain from inside
the bowl and is then polished to the desired finish. Our flatware is
never plated, as this wears though with time.
If you have any questions then please contact me and I will do my
best to help you
Specialists in handforged flatware jewellery repairs and private
commissions of handmade jewellery and Sterling Silver Gift Items
David Baggaley Silversmiths & Goldsmiths