Design and create a sterling silver spoon, with contemporary silversmith Charlotte Tollyfield, and then have it hallmarked at The Sheffield Assay Office. Have a go at making an extra special keepsake, christening present or wedding gift.
You will spend two days with Charlotte in her workshop in the heart of Sheffield, where you will learn the techniques of forging, forming and soldering whilst creating your own silver spoon to have hallmarked and take home.
Charlotte will greet you at the entrance to the Persistence Works studio building and accompany you to her studio where you will start the first day with an introduction to the workshop and all health and safety procedures before being introduced to the project and given a brief outline of what you can hope to achieve. You will then be taken through a practical demonstration of annealing – the process of heating the metal to soften it, ready for working – and forging – the hammer technique used to stretch and shape the handle of your spoon. You will then be given the chance to practice on some copper pieces in order to get a feel for the tools and processes, and have a think about your final design before starting on your own spoon handle.
Forging is a repetitive process that requires you to complete a number of rounds or “courses” of the same hammer technique to achieve the desired shape. Once you are close to doing so Charlotte will give a quick demonstration of the plannishing technique - the process by which you achieve a smooth finish to the surface of the metal and even out the final shape – and be encouraging you to have completed your silver spoon handle by the end of the first day.
The second day will start with a short assessment on how you feel your spoon is shaping up and what plans you have for the shape of the spoon before Charlotte demonstrates how to pierce out the shape.
As with the previous day, you will have the chance to do some practice pieces before continuing with your own piece of silver. Once you have both halves of your spoon ready Charlotte will give a practical demonstration on how to solder the two pieces together before helping you to do the same. The day will finish with a final clean up and making a decision on where to put the hallmark before sitting back to admire your handiwork and rest achy limbs with a well-earned brew.
You will leave your spoon with Charlotte to take to The Sheffield Assay Office. The hallmarking process can take up to a week, and Charlotte will make arrangements with you for collection or delivery when it is ready.
Each day will be broken up with a morning and afternoon tea break (if desired) and a 30-40 minute lunch break.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
All materials are included in the course price and all tools will be provided by Charlotte at her workshop. Tea and coffee with fruit and biscuits will be freely available, but participants must provide their own packed lunch. There are sandwich shops, cafes and supermarkets located at Sheffield Station and Town Centre, both approximately a 10-15 minute walk away if preferred.
Charlotte is able to provide aprons and ear protection, but if you have your own that you feel more comfortable wearing you can bring it with you. You may also wish to bring any wrist or elbow support if you feel you may need it. Flat shoes with a covered toe are essential as is comfortable clothing.
The Persistence Works building, where Charlotte is based, is a 10-15 minute walk from both the Sheffield central Train Station and Bus Station, and a 15-20 minute walk from the Supertram stops at Sheffield Station or Fitzalan Square.
Whilst Persistence Works does not have its own parking facilities, there is some street parking directly outside and on nearby roads, as well as several carparks within 3-15 minutes walk. Charlotte can provide full details at time of booking.
2 days (10:00am to 4:00pm)
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2 days (10:00am to 4:00pm)
I loved the spoon forging course. Charlotte was very supportive and encouraging and clearly explained all the different skills required to make my silver spoon.
I did ache a little after the first day, as I’m not used to wielding a hammer, but it was great fun and Charlotte was with me every step of the process. I was amazed I managed to forge a beautiful and useable spoon from a relatively small ingot of silver in just two days. I have learned a lot of new skills and surprised myself. Charlotte is a great tutor, very friendly and thoughtful.
Response from Charlotte Tollyfield Contemporary Bespoke Silverware:Thank you so much for your review, Jane. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the course, you did a great job and produced a lovely spoon. It was a pleasure to welcome you to the workshop.
This is a really great course. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Charlotte takes you through each stage by a demo and then you work though each stage yourself. Definitely the best way to learn so nothing is rushed and you have the time to take it all it. There is quite a bit of hammer work on the first day so you'll feel your arm muscles after the first day but nothing to worry about. Charlotte is very patient and very experienced so able to clearly explain each stage which really helped. The workshop atmosphere is great and helped by the small group numbers. I can really recommend this course I learn't loads and would happily go on another of Charlotte's courses. Best of all you walk out with a lovely silver spoon all hard forged by your own hands. I'll be using my silver spoon to eat copious amounts of ICE CREAM :-)
We did this course as part of our Silver Wedding anniversary celebration. It was a great couple of days and we managed to produce a unique silver spoon each for us to remember our anniversary by plus having a nice weekend in Sheffield.
Charlotte is a great teacher balancing out letting us discover how to work the metal and helping us as we went through the process.
We both feel like we really learnt a lot and would recommend the course to anyone.
I would have never have thought of signing up for this course, but I won it in a prize draw at an exhibition of silversmithing at the Harley Gallery. It turned out to be a most enjoyable two days. With no previous experience at all I succeeded in producing a remarkably spoon-like object. Charlotte was an excellent tutor with the right balance between showing you how to do it and letting you get on with it yourself. The workshop was well equipped and a good working environment. Having the piece hallmarked at the end of the process is a nice touch - gives you a warm feeling you've produced something of lasting value.
I did this course a little while ago and enjoyed it very much. All the tools needed were available and Charlotte was good at giving clear instruction while putting me at ease. Once shown how to do a stage she stood back and let me get on with it whilst keeping an eye on me. My version was more rustic looking than Charlottes examples, but I was pleased with the end result and use my spoon every day. All in all an enjoyable two days with something to take home at the end of it (after hallmarking). It's a good way of getting an insight into the amount of work that goes on to produce something that is hand made and unique as no two spoons will turn out the same.