My First Blog Post – making a silver baby spoon

by rutamurphy on September 7, 2010

 

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to try making something totally different from my jewelry creations. Earlier this summer, a good friend was blessed with her first granddaughter and I wanted to share my congratulations with the new parents as well. What better could I try to make than something from my hands and heart and with the tools that I love to use – hammers and fire!!

I decided to try my luck at making a baby spoon for Stella Elizabeth (named after both of her deceased grandmothers). Mind you,  I really have no knowledge of how to make a spoon nor do I really have the proper hammers and forming tools to do so, but to those that know me,  when has that ever stopped me from trying something new?

I regret not having taken pictures as I went along – isn’t hindsight great?- but I did take a couple of photos of the finished item.

So – my first attempt began with an oval piece of sterling with a bit of a thin short handle on it. I annealed and stretched, then annealed some more and formed – my neat little oval was starting to look like an oddly shaped egg. Got out the dividers, and with some marking, piercing and filing, the odd little egg finally looked like a properly shaped spoon.

Now it was time to solder on a handle – – no problem with that – – set up everything on the solderite board, got out the big torch tip and brazed away-quenched and into the pickle pot it went.  A few minutes later, I pulled out my spoon and was mildly disappointed.   the spoon was crooked on the handle!

OK – no big deal, I said. I got out the torch and third hand and heated everything up until the handle and spoon bowl were separate again and then re-soldered. This spoon is looking pretty  cool I said to myself – albeit a bit primitive.  Now it’s time to stamp a design– baby initals and birth date—onto the handle.

This was when I really learned that I just cannot keep those little rods of metal straight or hit them evenly with that other hammer. By the time I was done “stamping,” that piece of handle looked like the baby had done it herself. Time to separate the handle from the spoon once again. Only this time, not only did the two pieces separate but the short handle on the spoon decided to melt and break off. DARN! – into the scrap silver recycling pile it went. And now I was devastated – because all that hammering and forming and soldering and unsoldering taken me the better part of a few hours each night of the week.- and I still had nothing to show for it

Well – call it persistence or stupidity –  back to square one I went. I made a second spoon (round this time) and handle – soldered them together but this time I changed the design. I still wanted to stamp Stella Elizabeth’s initials and date of birth somewhere on the handle and I did – but this time I put it on the backside under the curve of the handle where you can see it but it’s not part of the design.  Instead, I added a textured triangle of sterling and then hammered the other half of the handle to give it more strength. Then I formed it around a mandrel and here it is. . .  Stella Elizabeth’s new baby spoon.

 While it still looks a little primitive (I didn’t planish the bowl enough ), I must say I am happy with the way it turned out overall. Maybe it IS time to invest in some more tools and how-to books, of course)-what do you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia Eid January 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

Ruta,
I love your spoon! I am teaching a spoon-making workshop in February at Metalwerx, in Waltham, MA. I’d love to include images of your spoon in the powerpoint that I show students. I like to show a wide variety of designs, to encourage creativity. Your name will be included, of course. May I have your permission?
thank you for your consideration,
Cindy

Mo September 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm

What a fabulous baby gift indeed! Wabi Sabi aesthetic. Love it.

rutamurphy September 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

Thanks Beth ! That means a lot coming from you! – I’ve read a lot of your posts over the years.

Kim, interesting method of raising metal – all from one piece – wish I could go to school and learn forging. Alas, I have a day job and not a lot of funds.

Beth Wicker September 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm

How very cool – and what a wonderfully special baby present! LOVE the added design on the handle, and the way the handle lets the spoon stand…. wonderful!

k.o'brien jewelry September 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

spoons are great fun to make. in school we started with just a square rod of copper to form the handle and spoon from. it was great fun. i bet this spoon will be well received.

rutamurphy September 8, 2010 at 10:43 am

Thanks Michael! While it may not have sounded like it, the spoon really was a lot of fun to make.

Now I have to work on my Blog page –

Ruta
Designs by Ruta
http://www.etsy.com/shop/rmurphdesigns

Michael Sabo September 8, 2010 at 2:48 am

That is a beautiful spoon. I like your thinking: “… call it persistence or stupidity…”, attributes I am intimately familiar with. Keep up the effort, and persist. peace

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