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Raised bowls and sinks


i am wanting to make raised bowls and sinks and other household
ornament type things. but don’t really know where to start.

i think i understand what anticlastic raising is, but am unclear as
to whether or not there is another type of raising.

i also just read an old orchid post from Valentin Yotkov saying,
“Raising, if not properly done will damage your hands permanently in
only a few months”.

so now i’m a bit scared to just go at it myself with a book and some
instructions off ganoksin. i did take a small metals class a couple
of years ago and raising a bowl was one of the projects, but i did
not raise my own bowl, i simply watched the demonstrations. so that
is the only experience i have with this technique.

am i foolish to try and learn this on my own? will i forever be

i am also at a disadvantage for tool purchasing as i live in costa
rica and can’t just up and go to a nearby shop.

so any advide or instruction in general to this process or on tool
making would be welcomed!

thank you,
Jocelyn Broyles
tel. 650.248.4678


Raising is a time consuming process and without someone looking over
your shoulder it may be tough to get a feel for on your own. If you
can take a hands on class, that would be much better. I would highly
recommend a workshop with Fred Fenster at Penland or Haystack. He
teaches raising really well. John Cogswell would also be a great
choice. There are others as well. Perhaps you can find someone close
to home. Raising can give you a real understanding of the elasticity
of metal.

You mentioned hand damage. This is from the vibrations transmitted
to your hands by hitting the metal. I often found the hand holding
the work took most of the beating, but I haven’t done any
significant raising since I was a student 20 years ago. If I were a
betting man, I would bet you would get frustrated with the process
long before you hurt your hands.

So, where does this lead? If you are thinking of making household
items for production, then I would look into having them spun for
you. You just need to find a spinning company, give them a drawing
of the contour of the form you want, and they will make a chuck (a
wooden or metal shape that’s spun on a lathe) and generate your
forms in what ever metal you want. The spinning will leave
concentric circle marks on the metal. Take a look at stainless steel
salad mixing bowls in your local supermarket. They were most likely
either stamped out or spun.

Don Friedlich


Long time ago I took a one day lesson on raising copper, made a
little bowl. I wasn’t too interested in learning how to just raise
but more about how the metal functions and how it moves. Since then
I have done quite a bit of raising, but mostly in copper and it was
not too hard on the hands. I have moved up to sterling silver and
what a difference. As Don stated, “I often found the hand holding
the work took most of the beating” is absolutely correct. If you are
working on small pieces (less than 4 inch diameter disc) it is very
hard to hold the piece against the stake while hitting. On larger
pieces they are easier to hold but since you are a distance from the
center to edge the sterling silver builds up so much tension, it is
like hitting a spring. All bounce and no metal movement. On thicker
sheet, 16 ga or 14 ga if large diameter I have put a knee pad, like
floorer use, on my leg to help hold the piece against the stake.
There have been many nights where I have iced down the thumb joint
and wrist on the holding hand. Your hitting hand, as long as you are
not “pounding” the metal piece against your stake only gets fatigue,
along with the rest of the arm and shoulder. The best book to get is
"Silversmithing" by a couple of guys and comes in a black cover.
Sorry not at home and do not have the authors available. The book is
available from any jewelry supply catalogue. The book will describe
all of the tools required. When I first started raising I made a
raising hammer by reshaping a ball peen hammer. The stakes have been
any piece of metal that I can hold in a vise. Surprising what you
can do with various pieces of pipes. But a good raising stake is a
must have in order to get the proper angle to hold the piece while
hammering. Happy hammering a but a good leather glove for the
holding hand.

Warren Townsend


The best book to get is “Silversmithing” by a couple of guys and
comes in a black cover That book was written by my former teacher and
friend William Seitz and one of his students, Rupert Feingold, whose
main contribution was to phrase the thoughts and ideas into proper
english. Bill Seitz was born in Germany and learned silversmithing
from his father as a very young man. Here in the States he teamed up
with a fairly renowned teacher and silversmith named Schumacher, and
eventually took over teaching silversmithing at the Crafts Students
League at the YMCA in New York City. I inherited some of the
original drawings which were done by Schumacher and given to Bill by
Schumacher. These were later used in the book compiled by Seitz.
Some of Bill Seitz’s work was sold by Cartier in NY, and that could
give you some idea of the quality of work he created. He was a very
delightful and talented individual and I sorely miss the times we spent
together. Joe Dule