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Diary of a Silversmith

John Campbell Master Silversmith

From an early age I was always interested in making things and this has continued throughout my life. I trained as an apprentice, worked for several companies before deciding I had the skills and desire to design and create my own range of sterling silver tableware. My first workshop was in a shed in my parents garden. My business grew and I moved several times before settling in my Brentwood studio. A glimpse below of just one of the rooms.  

From the Workshop 3

Production today is focused on a small batch of half pint silver mugs. These mugs come in three sizes, quarter pint, half pint and one pint - suitable for a variety or occasions from a Christening to a 21st birthday to a retirement?    

From the Workshop 2

Continuing my workshop pictures, today's job is working on the large batch of Claret jugs as mentioned in previous blogs The shot below shows the process of pressing the lip into shape

From the Workshop 1

During each working week I can be doing a variety of tasks and in some cases doing part production on a number of different products. To try and show the variation of work we carry out I will post a workshop picture each day with a description of the task in hand!  The shot below is a mid point spinning when producing an egg cup  

Claret Jug City - Part Two

Following on from Part one the story of production continues. However it may be worth seeing how all the components fit together in a small area before work begins. To continue the story The batch is then passed to the polishing shop where using several grades of compound the body and handles have all the file marks, emery marks and spinning lines polished out. This is much easier while they are still in two separate parts. Next soldering on of the handle: Firstly painted with argotect (the fire stopping solution) and set into a soldering jig, this will support and hold the handle central... [More]

Claret Jug City!!!!! Part One

January marks the start of a big production batch run of Chalice Claret Jugs. At the outset, the components when assembled are quite compact, two packs of silver discs, one thick for the upper lip section and one thinner for the lower neck section (photo claret jug ingredients). A bag of cast handles, a box of spinning chucks and a stack of crystal bodies. The engraving element as yet unseen is at my friends Derry Keen in Clerkenwell, Mike and Don Keen are the second and current generation of Keen’s. I had originally worked with their father and co founder Derek who sadly passed away la... [More]