The Making of our Pewter Products
Most of our products are made of pewter which is a very versatile metal. It is used to make many different items from hip flasks and trophies and to the more contemporary items that we sell such as trinket dishes, photo frames, gifts and pocket charms. Most pewter items are still handmade, much of ours here in England. We do also work with a long established American pewter company selling the design-led brand, Vilmain.
A Pewtersmith is also very often an exceptional model maker who will start by creating one single piece and then duplicating this to create a mould containing multiple models.
(Our mould library, our moulds are used time and time again.)
Pewter is supplied in a solid form, it is then melted down to molten metal and it has a relatively low melting point compared to other metals. The molten metal is then hand poured into a rubber mould before being centrifugally spun in order to force the liquid metal into a pre-formed mould. This whole process only takes a couple of minutes, much more time is taken finishing off the item after it has been removed from the mould.
(Molten pewter being poured into a mould)
The rubber moulds are in two parts and when released after the metal has set, the pewter items can be carefully coaxed out and any rough edges trimmed down. As the item is still very hot at this stage further trimming may be done later when it has fully cooled down. There is little or no waste in the production of our pewter items as any trimmings or faulty pieces are simply thrown back into the melting pot and used again.
(Fresh from the mould)
When the pewter initially comes out of the mould it has a dull, matt finish. Our products are then placed in a barrel containing ceramic grains where they are churned for several hours during which time the shine and lustre of the pewter is revealed. Our larger products may be hand polished instead.
(The barrelling process)
Some of our products such as the little golden bees and frogs have been dipped in gold plating to finish them off and to create a striking contrast with the pewter colour. Underneath this gold plating is solid pewter which has gone through exactly the same process as described above.