Monday, November 12, 2007

this is one she WON’T be carrying around between her teeth

Last Tuesday, my husband's grandmother, his mother, and I all went to Old Salem to learn how to make pewter spoons. His family has a love for pewter pieces and when we heard about the class, we thought it would be enjoyable to learn how they were made and then to have a treasure to take home and add to the collection.

When we got to the class we had a little trouble locating the building and room from the dark cobblestone street. Once we go inside we noticed the room was lit with only a few lights and the glow from the fireplace (450 degrees we were told). We got a brief introduction and some instructions on what we would be doing and I chose to cast a spoon from the mid to late 1800s since the "federal" mold was already warm when it was my turn to cast. We had two other choices, but since I went next to last I knew from watching the others that it would be easiest to choose one of the warm molds.

The class itself was more than three hours of grueling detail work - casting, re-casting, cooling, trimming, filing, sanding, sanding, more sanding, stamping, and finally polishing - but it was also more than three hours of experience. I was amazed at how tedious it was just to create a simple object that we all use every day and certainly take for granted. I cannot imagine making those things all day long for a living.

During the class I would often stop and take breaks, putting my spoon and sandpaper down to rest. I began to love the small scratches or uneven places (some would call them "flaws") and I exclaimed to those working near me that those places gave my spoon "character." I'm glad to have made it.

Here. You can admire my handiwork.
federal style pewter spoon - front
federal style pewter spoon - back

Don't you love the way I stamped my initials in a diagonal line intentionally?
pewter stamping - diagonal initials were intentional, i promise

Now it's sitting on the buffet in my dining room, displayed with the pewter tea set my MIL gave me one year for Christmas. It looks a little out of place there, but I don't mind. It's something I'll always treasure.

my pewter set on display

1 comment:

Merritt said...

What a great idea to do with your fam!

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