© Summer 1997 Newsletter


We Have a New Web Address

Our new URL—www.silversmithing.com—will make us easier to find on the Web. Also, note the change in our E-mail address: jherman@silversmithing.com. Please make the necessary changes in your browser and mail programs.

Free Literature From SAS

Do you know what you're paying for sterling in relation to what other companies are offering? Jeffrey Herman has just compiled a list of seven companies and what they charge for sterling sheet, wire, casting grain, and solder. The Sterling Comparison Chart shows if you are paying more than you should!

Cynthia Eid's Photo Tips for Metalsmiths is also FREE, or, if you have access to our Web site, you will find this very informative guide from a link on our "Darkroom" page.

Both papers may be obtained from SAS with a S.A.S.E.

Are You Afraid of Collecting Silver?
by Jeffrey Herman

Are you a silver lover? You probably are if you're receiving this newsletter. Do you own sterling flatware, a tea set, or a simple flower vase? If you do, you know the inherent beauty of the material and its functionality. Yet, if silver isn't gracing your table, what reservations do you have about collecting it? Perhaps you've heard that once you buy silver, you'll be polishing it three times a day. Don't let this misconception dissuade you from owning what you would truly like to collect.

In fact, you'll spend more time cleaning, oiling, and waxing your furniture than you ever will maintaining your silver!

My wife and I live with two dogs and a cat in a very dusty home with a damp basement, which is 75 feet from busy train tracks and just a few blocks from Interstate 95. Oh, and I almost forgot—we also live about two miles from the ocean. If this doesn't sound like a haven for tarnish to wreak havoc on silver, I don't know what does. Curiously, though, the few pieces of silver we have collected stand up to these elements. I polished our nice sterling Arts & Crafts serving fork with 3M's Tarni-Shield™ silver polish back in November of 1996, just to see how well it would protect.

As I write this newsletter, it's eight months later, and, not surprisingly, the fork is in absolutely pristine condition, even after minor handling. This piece has been sitting naked on a china cabinet shelf, not wrapped in a flatware roll inside a safe.

Silver ages gracefully if properly maintained. If you use your flatware for everyday dining, polishing need not be a concern, as long as it's washed afterwards. If your flatware is used only occasionally, polishing with 3M's Tarni-Shield, and storing the pieces in a flannel flatware roll or lined chest with a 3M Anti-Tarnish strip, will give added protection.

It doesn't sound like you'll be scrubbing your fingers to the bone, does it? Do you enjoy entertaining? Have you shopped for an accent piece for your dining room table, all the while suspecting that the silver vase or candelabra you really wanted would probably take hours to polish? This is yet another misconception. If the piece is already in good condition, applying non-toxic, pleasant-smelling Tarni-Shield™ will keep it virtually tarnish-free for months, if not years, depending on how frequently it's handled. Renaissance® wax can be used for longer-lasting protection.

The belief that you'll have to polish your silver prior to each function simply isn't true, as long as you follow the directions in Jeffrey Herman's guide, The Care of Silver. Topics include: Cleaning Silver, Chemical Dips, Electrochemical (Galvanic) Reduction, Silver Storage & Display, 3M Anti-Tarnish Strips, Sterling & Dishwashers, Saltshaker Corrosion, and a Resource section. This guide is on our Web site. If you don't have access to the Internet and would like a copy of The Care of Silver, send a check for $5 to Jeffrey Herman, PO Box 3599, Cranston, Rhode Island 02910.

If you ever have reservations about purchasing silver, please feel free to call SAS with your concerns. We can also help you find that special piece you've been looking for through our Artisan Referral Service and our database of available items for immediate purchase. Even if you require mass-produced pieces, see us first.

Artisan Happenings

Artisan members Boris Bally, Susan Ewing, Fred Fenster, John Marshall, Kurt J. Matzdorf, Richard Mawdsley, Tom Muir, and Billie Jean Theide were among 47 exhibitors of jewelry, holloware, and ironwork at the Centennial Metals Exhibition at The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Massachusetts. The exhibition, which ran from May 3–June 29, 1997, celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Society—the oldest of its kind in the United States. Michael Monroe, Executive Director of the American Craft Council in New York, served as the show's curator for this nonprofit oganization.

Sue L. Amendolara is participating in "Hard Evidence," a contemporary metals invitational exhibition at the Southwest Craft Center in San Antonio, Texas. The exhibition, with Claire Holliday acting as curator, will be up through August 30, 1997.

Boris Bally, in addition to creating beautiful pieces in silver, has been designing holloware and furniture using recycled traffic signs. In fact, he received a Second Place Award in the 3rd Annual International Design Resource Awards Competition. Boris's patented tall-backed "Transit Chair," which is made entirely of recycled traffic signs (with the exception of the nuts and bolts used to secure all its parts), won the award. Of the 200 products submitted for review from 21 countries, 46 were selected for the exhibition, which will run from October 9–December, 1997, at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle.

In June, Boris spoke about his work at "Blurring Boundaries"—the Industrial Designers Society of America conference in Washington, DC.

A chalice created by William Frederick won a BENE Award in Modern Liturgy's 1997–1998 Visual Arts Awards, Seasonal and Occasional category. Bill also won an Honorable Mention in the same category for a Hanukkah lamp he made.

Tom Muir was one of nine Ohio artists to receive a $5,000 Individual Artists Fellowship Award in the crafts category. These awards are given annually to artists of exceptional talent based on the quality of work submitted.

Heikki Seppä will be having a one-person show at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, from September 21–November 16, 1997. "Heikki Seppä: A Retrospective," will feature work from his long and distinguished career. Heikki recently retired as head of the metals department at Washington University and is a member of the College of Fellows in Metal of the American Craft Council. He will be in Memphis for Repair Days Weekend this October 17–19.

Valentin Yotkov, a Bulgarian-born-and-trained silversmith, will teach the basics of chasing and repoussé. Techniques will include shaping, hardening, tempering, and polishing your own tools from square or round steel stock, and preparation and use of a pitch bowl. Step-by-step instruction will progress to creating your own designs on jewelry and holloware, using liners, embossing, modeling, and matting punches. The ten classes will cost $300 and will start September 23, 1997. Students can choose Tuesday afternoon (2-5 pm) or evening (6-9 pm) sessions. For more information, contact Valentin Yotkov Studio, 154 Carroll St., Brooklyn, New York 11231, 718/852-8640.

Welcome to our New Artisan

Kathleen Hart of Paxton, Massachusetts.

Supplier News

NEW BENEFIT: Hoover & Strong, 10700 Trade Rd., Richmond, Virginia 23236, 800/759-9997, 804/794-3700, Fax: 800/616-9997. They are offering one quantity price break better than the quantity ordered on sterling, fine silver, and reticulation silver (80/20) sheet, wire, casting grain, and solder.

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