still not quite perfect

I promise that the next post will be textile related.

Some of you may remember that two whole summers ago I was wibbling about what to do with a silver chalice I’d had on my workbench for a while becuase I’d got the top and bottom all out of proportion.

In the end I decided to make the top and bottom into two separate chalices. So this is the old bottom piece all decorated up and with a new bowl.

icelandic chalice

Sorry it still looks grubby. It’s going to have to be hand polished, which won’t happen until it’s been assayed, and that won’t happen until September because I need to finish the other chalice and a few bits to make a trip worthwhile (they have a minimum charge). I would have barrelled it in the itnerim but it’s too big for the barrel now.

I’m much happier with it, although the proportions are much less squat than the original it now seems more at ease with itself

There is some firestaining, but before I get the interior gilded I’ll have the whole thing silver plated to cover that up.

I was in two minds about the lettering around the brim but I’m glad I went ahead with it. The letters will look very smart once they’ve been picked out by oxidising them – I’d love to be able to use proper niello, but what with that being an extremely dangerous lead compound it’s just never going to be an option in my workshop. I have also concluded that I have to stick with machine engraving as I simply don’t have the strength in my hands for the other sort. sigh.

Overall, I’m giving myself a B- on this one. Mostly for effort.

~ by opusanglicanum on July 23, 2014.

16 Responses to “still not quite perfect”

  1. This looks good, polish or no polish! Nice broad, sturdy base to keep it from going over on wobbly tables, too. Can’t make out much of the letters in this shot, but they also seem nicely in proportion to the whole piece. I think it’s worth an A at the least. You might get A-star, once it’s finished and made all shiny.

    • its soem latin about the blood of christ, badly spelled cos I ran out of room for the final letter and had to do it in miniscule instead of bloack caps(happens a lot in manuscripts)

  2. I think it’s lovely! Especially the hollow ball under the cup. It makes me want to learn some silversmithing.

    • the decoration is ok, its just the shapes thats a bit etiolated compared to the original

    • I was quite pleased with the ball. Often the chalices of this period are quite plain with interesting balls – one of the first I did had a rock crystal ball, which appealed cos balls are hard to make so it was a great cheat

  3. The proportions look pretty good, now, I agree. I won’t argue with your assessment of your work, even if I wish to, because there is nothing more aggravating to someone competent than brainless praise from someone less knowledgeable than themselves.
    But I like it, so there!

    • I think it’s nice, it’s just almost but not quite like tea, if you see what I mean.

      And I know I’m always my own worst critic, but this one has been a right comedy of errors

  4. I agree, the proportions look good and “at ease with itself” as you described it nicely.
    I also liked the chalice you made two years ago (and linked in this post), but to me it looked like the stem was too small for the bowl.
    I think the bowl of your first try was quite close to the original, but the stem wasn’t wide enough.

    I like your chalice, but I won’t assess the quality of the work because I don’t do silversmithing at all.

    • It being silver, and oodles of work to raise a bowl, I have the first bowl now waiting for a new stem more in proportion to itself, which is next week. I plan on having two solid days a week in my workshop over summer so I can actually achieve stuff.

      For the other one I’m making a c12th Hungarian base with jewels ( the bowl is lost) which actually looks a bit chavvy and ren faire ish

  5. I like the proportions – especially the addition of the pierced ball. What did you use to engrave the lettering?

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