© Spring 1998 Newsletter


New at Silversmithing.com

Charles Lewton-Brain's lecture: "A Metals Workshop Safety Report: Safety and Substitutes"

Jeffrey Herman's lecture: "The 21st-Century Silversmith"

Details of the 1998 Student Silversmiths Competition

Make an informed decision when purchasing sterling sheet, wire, casting grain, and solder by visiting the Sterling Comparison Chart where you'll find a listing of seven fabricators and pricing comparisons.http://www.silversmithing.com/1compare.htm

by Jeffrey Herman

In my quest to create a computer clean room environment for my workshop (yeah, right!), I have discovered a very economical and efficient way to cut down on polishing dust. In my polishing enclosure, which is a two-foot cube, dirt tends to circulate from its "floor" when I'm using larger buffs. This happens even though I have a 4-inch vacuum hose poised directly behind the buff. I purchased some Astroturf (the stuff used for welcome mats) for about $10 at my local hardware store and lined the bottom of my enclosure as well as up the back. It does a great job stopping that constant recirculating of dirt by trapping most of it in the plastic "grass." The circulating dust can also contaminate other buffs, especially those that are used with less abrasive compounds. Water pans tend to get rather messy to deal with. Plus, if a small piece goes flying, the "grass" will grab it, and larger work is less likely to be damaged. I vacuum it occasionally with the same hose used behind the buff which is connected to my industrial dust collector. The hose is fitted with a flexible 4-inch galvanized elbow connected to a gooseneck lamp arm which can be positioned anywhere in the enclosure. With this setup, I can even position the inlet right up to a buff, making the dust collection process as efficient as possible, especially when raking (removing caked-on compound and reshaping a buff by using a toothed handle specially made for this operation).

1998 Student Silversmiths Competition Reminder

The Criteria

The entry must have been created while the student was enrolled in any degree or non-credit course in the United States, between January 1, 1996, and October 31, 1998. Graduates from 1997 and 1998 are also eligible.

The object (holloware, flatware, or sculpture) must contain at least 50% sterling or fine silver. Sorry, jewelry is not accepted. THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE!

What We Need

We require an 8" x 10" glossy, black & white, professional- quality photograph of each entry. You may submit as many entries as you like.

When We Need It

All entries MUST be postmarked by OCTOBER 31, 1998. Late entries cannot be considered. To request an entry form with additional details, please see your metal-arts department head or send a SASE to: 1998 Silversmiths Competition, Society of American Silversmiths, PO Box 3599, Cranston, RI 02910.

Artisan Happenings

The prestigious multi-arts venue, the Barbican Centre, London, England, invited Boris Bally and other prominent metal artists to exhibit key works in a series of solo spotlight shows entitled American Metalanguage. These exhibitions, which bring the work of major American metalsmiths to a wide British audience, form part of the Inventing America Festival, the Barbican Centre's yearlong celebration of American culture throughout 1998. American Metalanguage I featured Boris Bally and Arline Fisch, and ran from April 10–June 7.

Michael Banner participated in ACC's Baltimore Craft Show in February.

Cynthia Eid, Kathy Hart, and Pauline Warg participated in "Contemporary Fine Judaica" at the Perkins Gallery in Stoughton, Massachusetts, from March 1–29.

Kathy also participated in "Bread & Butter," a show of tableware art at Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts from April 4–30, and "The Functional Vase Project" at SOFA in New York from April 9–12, and the Yaw Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan, from May 1–31.

Jeffrey Herman gave a lecture on "The 21st-Century Silversmith" in March at the Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference in Seattle, Washington. The lecture focused on silversmith training and the importance of knowing basic techniques and business skills to succeed into the next millennium.

During the lecture, I mentioned three compounds and have since discovered a fourth: T-2, which is more aggressive than TS-35. The following is a revision: For heavy cutting (bobbing substitute) I use T-2; for lighter cutting (tripoli substitute) I use TS-35 and continue to use Quickwash if I want a slightly less aggressive cut but require more color; and in place of red rouge I prefer C-3568 alumina compound which is healthier, produces more consistent results, leaves no rouge burn, can be used on other metals and plastics, and is less expensive. For distributors of these compounds, please contact JacksonLea, 75 Progress Ln., Waterbury, Connecticut 06705, 203/ 753-5116.

I am currently writing a comprehensive paper on basic and advanced polishing techniques, including buff and compound selection and safety. This should be completed by this summer's issue of SASnews.

Supplier News

NEW BENEFIT: Johnson Brush Co., 58 Orne St., North Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760, 508/695-9122, Fax: 508/695-5923. This custom brush maker offers SAS members 10% off all handmade bristle wheel brushes, and brass, nickel, and steel wire wheel brushes. The discount also applies to goblet, candle cup, and all other wheel-type brushes. Brochure available. Visit their Website at http://www. silversmithing.com/johnson to see their price list and catalog of brushes.

Allcraft Tool & Supply has moved its entire operation from their Brooklyn location to 45 West 46th St., New York, New York 10036. In addition to their toll-free 800/645-7124 number, you can call their new local number: 212/840-1860.

NOMM Mokume Invitational

Mokume-gane, literally, "wood-grained metal" in Japanese, involves laminating layers of nonferrous metals, usually copper and silver, and forming a billet by applying heat under pressure. The billet is then folded and twisted again and again to create a pattern. The completed billet is rolled into a sheet which is used to make the finished work. This important exhibit, "Knock On Wood: An American Mokume Invitational" at the National Ornamental Metal Museum, features vessels, flatware, sculpture, and jewelry by 20 contemporary, American metal artists who have distinguished themselves as masters of this unique medium. Participating SAS Artisans are Jack da Silva, Roger Horner, John Marshall, and Richard Mawdsley. The exhibit opened to the public April 28, 1998, and will remain on view in all galleries through July 4, 1998. It is sponsored by ServiceMaster. Discover more by visiting NOMM's new Website at http://www.metalmuseum.org.

Great Finds

Judd Paper Co.
92 Race St., Holyoke, MA 01040
Kleenex®-type tissue, 750 two-ply sheets (20" x 30"): $104.80 plus shipping.

Silver Institute on the Web

The Silver Institute is a nonprofit international association that draws its membership from all across the silver industry. This includes leading silver mining houses, refiners, bullion suppliers, manufacturers of silver products and wholesalers of silver investment products. Established in 1971, the Institute serves as the industry’s voice in increasing public understanding of the many uses and values of silver.

The goals of The Silver Institute are to encourage the development and uses of silver and silver products; help develop markets for silver and its products; foster research and development related to present and prospective uses of silver; collect and publish statistics and other information about production, distribution, marketing, consumption and the uses of silver and silver products; spread knowledge and understanding of the uses of silver, and develop methods for promoting the vitality of the silver industry. The Silver Institute, 1112 16th Street, N.W., Suite 240, Washington, DC 20036, Tel: 202/ 835-0185, Website: http://www.silverinstitute.org/frames.htm.

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