Tips and Information about making jewelry

With this blog, I hope to share my knowledge, successes, trials and errors, student's work, tips, and information about making jewelry.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Low-Down on Forging Sterling Silver Metal Clay

Janet Alexander

Can fired sterling silver metal clay take the brunt of a hammer?

Design Template
Spoon Plank
I made two spoon planks rolling them out eight cards thick, and lightly texturing the handle areas. I fired them per Mitsubishi's instructions in the kiln.

I hammered the first spoon using a steel dapping block, which was too deep to support the metal correctly. I promptly put a hole in it.

With the second spoon, I wanted to use a wood block but didn’t have one the correct size. So, I made one out of a stump of firewood I found laying outside the house.

Carved wood
First I traced the bowl area’s outline onto the end of the stump. Then I used a 10mm ball bur and my rotary tool to carve out a shallow area.

I hammered the bowl area with a rounded raising hammer on the carved stump.

After I got it somewhat domed, I annealed the metal.

Time to anneal

Using a dapping tool
I carved the hole in the stump deeper, and since my hammer was too big to fit where I needed it, I used a dapping tool and a rawhide mallet to forge the spoon’s end into the stump.
It worked fine so long as I stopped regularly to anneal the metal before pushing it too far.

Front side of hammered spoon
Back of hammered spoon
Success! Fired PMC Sterling can be forged and the spoon is ready for refining and finishing.


  1. I am trying to learn more about forging different metals to make jewelry and utensils so I can do it myself. This is amazing.

    1. Thank you. Just change the shape carved in the wood to the shape of the spoon you want. Just don't push it too much before stopping and annealing the metal.

      Maybe I will do a demonstration on forging wire. Thanks for the comment.