I produce a wide range of 'small' silverware – spoons, napkin rings, plates and boxes, for example – usually to commission.

Dram-cups and tumblers are a speciality, however.  Each cup is formed from a flat disc of metal, using a technique called raising.  This involves beating the disc over a steel stake with a hammer and/or wooden mallet, until it assumes the required form.  Many courses of raising are required before the final shape is reached.  During hammering, the metal becomes work-hardened and brittle, and so has to be heated or annealed after each course of raising, to restore it to a workable state.

Steps in the raising process...

When the form is complete, the working hammer-marks are replaced with planishing marks – these are fine, smooth, facets which catch the light when the piece is polished.  Any decoration is added before hallmarking at the Edinburgh Assay Office.

For me, the final shape of each cup is of huge importance.  Not only do I want it to look good.  It must also function as a drinking-cup – and especially, sit comfortably and pleasurably in the hand!