Friday, March 6, 2015

Functional hammered metal

©2015 Barry Smith - Detail of hammered metal ladle bowl
Over the last week I have been working on a serious stash of ladles - possibly destined for a funky food store in the Melbourne area.

I wanted to make quite a number to give the store owners the chance to see a range of ladles that can be used for different purposes - hopefully to give some choice if they wanted to purchase some ladles for retail sale.

In the end I made 18 ladles. I completed the task today. All the ladles are made from recycled silver-plated EPNS - small trays; or goblets; or butter dishes; or lids; or drink coasters. The handles are made from new brass rod of various gauges or very heavy gauge copper wire.

©2015 Barry Smith - Hammered metal ladle bowls
©2015 Barry Smith - Formed copper wire and brass rod handles for ladles
©2015 Barry Smith - Handles and bowls riveted together with solid brass rivets (brass nails cut down) - ready for final polish
They were mainly made in threes.

©2015 Barry Smith - Re-hammered small (30mm in diameter) ornate bowls - chocolate ladles?
©2015 Barry Smith - Small (25-35mm in diameter) deep ladles - sauces?

I think the shallow ladles are great for serving curries.
©2015 Barry Smith - Shallow ladles made from silver-plated coasters - square brass rod handles 
©2015 Barry Smith - Medium depth ladles - beautiful hammered backs and anvil hardened copper rod handles.
©2015 Barry Smith - Medium depth ladles - lovely texture inside from hammering on a metal stake.
©2015 Barry Smith - More medium sized ladles but slightly shallower - beautiful hammered backs - with anvil hardened copper rod handles.
©2015 Barry Smith - Again - beautiful internal hammer texture.
Though there were a couple of deeper soup ladles made from repurposed and stake hammered silver-plated EPNS cups.

©2015 Barry Smith - Soup ladles - with simple heavy brass rod handles.
And a single ladle that ended up with a central copper rivet to close off the hole on what was one a silver-plated EPNS lid.

©2015 Barry Smith - Larger shallow ladle with copper rivet and copper handle .
The stash is now complete; and ready for consideration by the prospective client. I'll send some of the photos off to them.

©2015 Barry Smith - Stash of 18 ladles - all polished and ready for new homes.
It is now time to get ready to head out to dinner with friends.


  1. Unbelievable effort B - and all so gorgeous! Big congrats on a job well done.

  2. Oooooo lovely!! ....well worth the time you must have put in to make them all. I'm sure the store will want the whole batch.

  3. beautiful and very wonderfully ambitious. they are great. and now for a question: what is EPNS?

  4. An impressive amount of work, Barry! Lovely variety of wonderful ladles. Your photos and work are as always, inspiring.

  5. Hi F, R, V and AA - thanks for checking out the outcome of my production line; and leaving a supportive comment. F - thanks - you know only too well about the hammering and grinding - disturbing your quiet world. R - I do like the fact that they can look similar but the creative process adds unique features to each - will wait and see if the shop buys. V - thanks - EPNS - electroplated nickel silver - the base material the object is made from and then coated in sterling silver. AA - thanks for dropping in, I have been thinking of you and your creativity etc lately. I think we all inspire each other which is good. All - go well. B

  6. Gorgeous photos of the beautiful ladles Barry! I think I'll be checking out your store soon. I hope these all go like hot cakes but if any are left I hope to be a purchaser.

  7. C - still discussing arrangements with Melbourne - but will put some ladles up into the shop in the near future. Go well. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.