DeDe: The term spiculum refers to a shape, and comes from the
Latin meaning little spike. This shape appears in nature,
particularly among the lower forms of life, but it is also used
in metalsmithing to discribe a form or shape which resembles on a
very much smaller scale, a submarine without the appendages. Thus
it can be considered a small hollow tube which tapers to a
"point" at either one or both ends.

Though this form had been used for many centuries, it has more
recently been reintroduced by an outstanding silversmith and
teacher, Heikki Seppa, and it’s description and directions for
forming it are well descibed in his book-“Form Emphasis For
Metalsmiths”. Because of it’s structural strengh, a thin gage
metal can be used, thus enabling forming wearable, light weight

Many disciples of Hekki have adapted his forms and expanded upon
them to create many beautiful pieces. Perhaps the most noteable
among them is a Michael Good, whose work, I sure you have seen
and admired. Hope this helps J.Z.Dule

I work for Becky Thatcher Designs and I would like some information
on what the definition of a spiculum is. I am sending out a mailing
featuring the spiculum and would like some to accompany
it. Can you help? I apprieciate any info. Thank you, Colleen

 what the definition of a spiculum is. I am sending out a mailing 

Colleen, In nature, a spiculum(noun), is_a small pointed structure
serving as a skeletal element in various marine and fresh
water_invertebrates…e.g. sponges and coral. Synonyms:
appendage…outgrowth…process In jewelery making… a spiclum is a
hollow tube. most times tapering, also tapering at both ends.It can,
of course, be shaped in an endless variety of shapes, twist and
turns. A triple looped hollow bracelet can be a spiculum.


Colleen, The spiculum was a metal “scraper” used in Ancient Greece
and Rome to remove excess sweat from athletes’ bodies. That is the
original spiculum in any case. I think they prefer towels these


Hi Colleen, A spiculum is a hollow cylinder-- a tube-- that is
tapered, usually to a point, on either end. Sort of a marquis or
bean pod shape. It is most often formed from sheet, using cross peen
hammers and a grooved work surface to roll up or coax the metal into

Most often this form is soldered shut, although I usually prefer an
over lap of the sides or lips w/ an opening that gives access to the
interior. The term :“spiculum” was coined, I believe, by Heikka Seppa
who taught at Washington University in St. Louis. The term, to the
best of my knowledge comes from the small bony structures in side the
flesh of natural, live sponges. These “spicules” have the classic
spiculum shape. Hope that helps,

Andy Cooperman