However, after looking at "Silversmithing" by Finegold and Seitz, I
believe that I'm crimping in the opposite direction that they
recommend. Am I? What is the correct process?
The crimping stake goes on the inside surface, and you hit the
outside. Also, try to space the crimps closer together, so the peaks
and valleys are about the same width. While you can get essentially
the same shape crimping as you did, the hammer is easier to use on
the outside, and your then hammering the metal in the direction you
wish to go. With the stake on the outside and hammering the inside,
you’re actually “unraising” the metal slightly when you crimp, and
that’s not quite the desired effect.
Remember, though, that the real raising is not due to the crimping,
it’s the laterally compression that occurs when you hammer the metal
down to the stake, forming the new angle. You can raise quite well
without crimping at all. Crimping helps to hold the angle, and for
many, speeds the process some, but it’s also easy to crimp too much,
leading then to accidentally folding over the crimped ridges, instead
of compresseing them down. And crimping can also alter the edge
symmetry of the piece as you work, giving you and edge that’s not
quite as uniform. Usually not a problem, but still, keep in mind that
some smiths prefer not to crimp at all, and they still raise the
metal just fine.
The real keys are in how you use the raising hammer, holding the
piece in the correct position on the stake, and holding the angle
well as you work out.
Silver is indeed stiffer than copper, but the result is that raising
silver will take you longer. You should not find yourself actually
working harder. Raising, once you get a bit used to what your muscles
are doing, is a sort of zen thing. You get a concentration and a
rythm going. The hours pass, and the metal moves and flows to your