© Spring 1999 Newsletter


SilverWorks a Big Success

Twenty-five silver lovers attended the Society's first SilverWorks on May 15th at the home of SAS executive director Jeffrey Herman. SAS Artisan Peter Erickson traveled from Gardner, Massachusetts, to demonstrate the forging of a pie server from a silver ingot. Herman showed some of the processes used in repairing various silver objects provided by attendees. He also gave brief instruction on silver cleaning.

The event coincided with the MJSA Expo at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Nine attendees enjoyed breakfast on Sunday the 16th before heading off for the Expo, which featured companies offering supplies, tools, and equipment for the metal-arts industry.

The weather was great, the catered lunch and dinner were delicious, and everyone enjoyed themselves. It went so well that SilverWorks II is being planned for April or May of 2000. Already, three SAS Artisans have been scheduled to demonstrate their specialties. Cynthia Eid will show the fold-forming technique, and Valentin Yotkov will demonstrate chasing and repoussé. Jeffrey Herman will give a more comprehensive silver repair and cleaning clinic.

Upcoming issues of SASnews and our Web site will keep you updated on events planned for SilverWorks II.

Second Silversmiths Competition Planned for 2000

Due to the popularity of the Society's 1997 Student Silversmiths Competition, a second competition is being organized. Artisan members Sue Amendolara, Cynthia Eid, and Billie Jean Theide will plan the event, with Jeffrey Herman the administrator. Dates have not been finalized, but notifications will be sent to the same 120 design schools and non-credit institutions as in the previous competition. For complete information including due dates for submissions, jurors, and prizes, please refer to the SAS Web site later this summer.

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The Restless Paul Revere

The Early Years

Born in Boston's North End in December, 1734, Paul Revere was the son of Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot (Protestant) immigrant, and Deborah Hichborn, daughter of a well-to-do artisan family. Rivoire, who changed his name to Paul Revere some time after immigrating, was a goldsmith [a term used in the 18th century for someone who worked in both gold and silver] and eventually the head of a large household. Paul Revere was the second of twelve children and the eldest son.

Paul was educated at the North Writing School and learned the art of gold and silversmithing from his father. When Paul was nineteen (and nearly finished with his apprenticeship), his father died, leaving Paul as the family's main source of income. Two years later, in 1756, Revere volunteered to fight the French at Lake George, New York, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the colonial artillery.

In August, 1757, Revere married Sarah Orne. Together, they had eight children. Soon after Sarah's death in 1773, Revere married Rachel Walker, with whom he had eight children.

Silversmith & Craftsman

Revere's primary vocation was that of goldmith / silversmith. His silvershop was the cornerstone of his professional life for more than 40 years. As the master of his silversmith shop, Revere was responsible for both the workmanship and the quality of the metal alloy used. He employed numerous apprentices and journeymen to produce pieces ranging from simple spoons to magnificent full tea sets. His work, highly praised during his lifetime, is regarded as one of the outstanding achievements in American decorative arts.

Revere also supplemented his income with other work. During the economic depression before the Revolution, Revere began his work as a copper plate engraver. He produced business cards, political cartoons, bookplates, a songbook and bills of fare for taverns. He also advertised as a dentist from 1768 to 1775. He not only cleaned teeth, but also wired in false teeth carved from walrus ivory or animal teeth. Contrary to popular myth, he did not make George Washington's false teeth. Fabricating a full set of dentures was beyond his ability.

Political Activities / Revolutionary War

Revere's political involvement arose through his connections with members of local organizations and his business patrons. As a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrew, he was friendly with activists like James Otis and Dr. Joseph Warren. In the year before the Revolution, Revere gathered intelligence information by "watching the Movements of British Soldiers," as he wrote in an account of his ride. He was a courier for the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, riding express to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He also spread the word about the Boston Tea Party to New York and Philadelphia.

At 10 pm on the night of April 18, 1775, Revere received instructions from Dr. Joseph Warren to ride to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the British approach. The war erupted, and Revere went on to serve as lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts State Train of Artillery and commander of Castle Island in Boston Harbor. Revere and his troops saw little action at this post, but they did participate in minor expeditions to Newport, Rhode Island, and Worcester, Massachusetts. Revere's rather undistinguished military career ended with the failed Penobscot expedition.

Industrialist / Post-War Businesses

Revere expanded his business interests in the years following the Revolution. He imported goods from England and ran a small hardware store until 1789. By 1788 he had opened a foundry which supplied bolts, spikes and nails for North End shipyards (including brass fittings for the U.S.S. Constitution), produced cannons, and after 1792, cast bells. One of his largest bells still rings in Boston's Kings Chapel.

Concerned that the United States had to import sheet copper from England, Revere opened the first copper-rolling mill in North America in 1801. He provided copper sheeting for the hull of the U.S.S. Constitution and the dome of the new Massachusetts State House in 1803. Revere Copper and Brass, Inc., the descendant of Revere's rolling mill, is still in business and is best known for "Revereware" copper-bottomed pots and pans. The Revereware division is now, however, owned by Corning.

The Final Years

In 1811, at the age of 76, Paul Revere retired and left his well-established copper business in the hands of his son Joseph and two grandsons. Revere seems to have remained healthy in his final years, despite the personal sorrow caused by the deaths of his wife Rachel and son Paul in 1813. Revere died on May 10, 1818, at the age of 83, leaving five children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The son of an immigrant artisan, not born to wealth or inheritance, Revere died a modestly well-to-do businessman and a popular local figure of some note. An obituary in the Boston Intelligence commented, "Seldom has the tomb closed upon a life so honorable and useful." Paul Revere is buried in Boston's Granary Burying Ground.

The above text was excerpted from the Paul Revere House Web site at http://www.paulreverehouse.org. For additional information about Paul Revere, please contact the Paul Revere House, 19 North Square, Boston, MA 02113, 617/523-2338, Fax: 617/523-1775.

Supplier News

The announcement for Artisans in Silver: Enduring Traditions Through the Next Millennium, was made possible through the generosity of SAS discounter Allcraft Tool & Supply Company, 45 West 46th St., New York, NY 10036, 800/645-7124, 212/840-1860. Allcraft offers 10% off all metalsmithing tools, supplies, equipment, and nonprecious metals, and at least 10% off fabricating charges on precious metal products. New members will receive a $5 gift certificate toward their first order of at least $25. A catalog is available.

OneStar Long Distance has lowered its rates to 7.4¢ per minute for SAS members! OneStar is offering flat-rate pricing on out-of-state long-distance and 1-800 numbers. They have no surcharges or minimums, low international rates, six-second billing, 24-hour customer service, and comprehensive billing. SAS has been using OneStar for many years because of their excellent reception and service. Our new communications consultant is Kathy Goncalves. Contact her at One-Star Long Distance, Inc., 200 Foxboro Blvd., Suite 100, Foxboro, MA 02035, 800/950-4357, 508/698-2700.

Mancini Safe Company has moved to 180D Kerry Place, Norwood, MA 02062. Their local number has changed to 781/255-0411. The toll-free number: 800/367-3453, remains the same.

Safety Source, our supplier of safety supplies, has a new name and address: Safety Source Northeast, 111 Pennsylvania Ave., Warwick, RI 02888, 800/354-6113, 401/736-8774, Fax: 401/736-8775. Our new sales contact is Jamie Piazza. All members will be receiving their new catalog.

Bob Mitchell Productions, supplier of Metal Arts Source Book on CD-ROM, has a new fax number: 813/971-3536.

Our group administrator for the National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE), has moved. Michael Thayer's new address is 61 Sykes Rd., Seekonk, MA 02771. His telephone number, 401/726-4955, remains the same.

Nautitool, our supplier of stainless steel tools, is no longer offering discounts.

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