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Teapot // Part 1: The Making Process

A visual re-cap of the making process

I've put together a few images that illustrate the making process of how I fabricated my teapot. At first my plan was to hand raise the entire body of the teapot from one piece, time constrains got the better of me and I decided on a more timely making method. 

Working in fine silver, which is a beautiful material - almost buttery in the way it moves and reacts to each hammer blow - I worked closely to my initial sketches to ensure each part was at the perfect measurement. Deciding to fabricate the teapot in two halves meant there wasn't any room for error as the two pieces needed to be soldered together - with just a 1.2mm edge meeting. Any variation would mean that the thickness of the join would start to reduce, causing headaches in the final finishing stage. I don't often work this closely with precise measurements, especially in hollowware pieces, so it had its challenges. 

I hand raised the domed base - keeping an eye on the dimensions to make sure there was both enough depth to the shape as well as the correct diameter. The main body of the teapot is fabricated from flat sheet that I rolled up into a cylinder, soldered along it's long vertical seam, then re-rolled to ensure a perfect circular diameter - finished the surface to a fine emery and soldered the base to it.

I encountered a few tricky soldering moments -- entirely because mid way through I decided to change the way the handle sat (as one does?!) This meant the junction for the handle would be soldered across both the vertical seam in the tube and the horizontal seam. Not ideal, but it worked really well without any unexpected melting or loss of solder from the first joins. Usually, I would try and position my longer solder joins so that I wouldn't need to be soldering additional parts over them unless absoutlely necessary. But a challenge always keeps you on your toes! 

A clear sketch set out so that I can plan materials and keep everything aligned throughout the making process


Keeping all edges flat


Keeping things in check, regularly coming back to the original sketches


Nearly there... checking how everything lines up. 


Moving from raising through to planishing, then on to filing and sanding off all the hammer marks


Preparing the spout and in-built tea strainer
The spout all soldered on. So neatly there's hardly any clean up! 


That nerve-racking solder join. A little messier than hoped, but none the less, together! 


Using paper to see how things look in reality, out of the sketchbook. I use paper a lot in all my planning and it is particularly suited to the way I chose to make this piece.
Final test for handle measurements after all the parts have been soldered together. 


Dan machining the acrylic lid on his lathe (thanks Dan!)


One last check to make sure everything fits snuggly and is in proportion!

Have a peek at it all finished here: Teapot  |  Part 2: The Finished Work