Friday, March 17, 2017

The beauty of a hammered bowl

I have been asked to make a large hammered bowl and 40 words that will make up a Daily Word inspiration set for a family. I cut the metal some time ago as part of a cutting day for a few lines of work.

Today I got to make the bowl. It was made from a 25cm circle of silver plated EPNS cut from an old and cracked serving tray handed down in the family. Whilst the bowl shows patches of wear and history it has now been given a new life and great purpose.

©2017 Barry Smith - Silver and rust - the vessel reflects the hedge and sky - 21cm across and 5.5cm deep
©2017 Barry Smith - Shiny back of the bowl with anvil and hammer marks
I thought I would share a few of the process photos.

©2017 Barry Smith - Bowl annealed a couple of times and formed with a nylon and wooden mallet
©2017 Barry Smith - Getting the wrinkles out on a stake with wooden mallet before hammering the front and back with iron hammers
©2017 Barry Smith - The stake
©2017 Barry Smith - Hammering the front with a ball hammer on the anvil
©2017 Barry Smith - Getting ready to hammer the back on the stake with the flat faced hammer
I also got to add the brass rods to the Funky Fish and glue them into place.

©2017 Barry Smith - Fish with rods
We harvested 6 large pumpkins from our patch - so I think that could mean post pumpkin and blue cheese risotto washed down with a glass or two of red.


  1. Beautiful transformation.
    Nice work.

  2. Exquisite bowl that makes me want to curve my hands around it and that is no mean feat because usually it is wood that draws me to touch it...

  3. I'm fascinated by the way you end up with hammer marks AND the original pattern, melding in such an organic way. Very cool.

  4. Long ago and far away, I worked at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The work of the silversmiths always fascinated me ... the uncountable number of hammer strikes taken to create each form. A meditation on malleability and permanence.

  5. Beautiful bowl... and what a great way to re-use and upgrade one's family stuff.

  6. Hi R, M, OS, LA & VA - so special to have folk from our global community of artists drop in and leave a response to work such as this simple yet classic vessel. R - I love being able to transform the old trays. M - I can understand the lure of the wood but metal warms to the touch and you feel you become slightly united with it. OS - because the tray is a family helium I like folk to see the original pattern but I also want them to see it transformed not just reshaped. Hammering over the existing pattern softens it and almost makes it sit under the hammer marks. VA - so true - and I love the fact that the woman who asked me to make it will now work with me to create the daily words - she becomes part of the story and the creative process. Peace. B


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