I am starting to learn fold-forming

Those who know me know I’ve been doing a silver jewellery adult ed class since I think 2008. I didn’t go last year because hip, but I think this is my 9th or 10th term. I’m pretty terrible really, I’m clumsy and impatient and not good at fiddly stuff, so fold-forming, which is mainly hitting things with hammers, might be my jewellery spiritual home.

Fold-forming means folding metal, then hammering repeatedly along either the folded edge or the open edges. As you hammer, each hammer strike pushes the metal it hits out of the way so eventually the metal stretches and curves under the blows. Once you’ve hammered it to the degree of curve you want, you open it up and see what fantastic shape you have made.

After some practice hammering, I started on a piece of copper, about 20cm long and maybe 6cm wide – I can’t quite remember the original dimensions. I folded it in half so it was 20x3cm and then spent hours – roughly 4-4.5 hours hammering along the closed edge, annealing to keep the metal soft after every two go-overs. Once the metal had curved round to just beyond horseshoe shaped, I heated it again, then opened it out by working the other end of tweezers into it and twisting, then spreading the edges out out a bit more by hand. I filed and smoothed the jaggy edges off, then pickled it to clean it. Then I used the brass brush to give one side a high-shine finish, and on the other side did the same just around the inner edge. And this is what I got.

DSCF3270 DSCF3271 DSCF3273I want to do more!


And here are some of my earlier efforts

Reticulated silver pendant, with matching earrings

Reticulated pendant and earrings

Reticulated star pendant

Reticulated star pendant

Leaf textured pendant done on the rolling mill

Rolling mill leaf pendant

Bangle textured with a toffee hammer


Hammered cuff

Hammered cuff


I was making a reticulated bangle, but melted it, so I saved the pieces and made it into a bracelet

Bracelet of reticulated pieces


Many-textured bracelet

Hammering, reticulation, wire

Bracelet of rings

Loopy bracelet

Textured bangle



Pendant of many textures

Bike. You can see it got a bit chewed up – the soldering was very fiddly


Silver dream machine

Novelty plectrum


Leaf pendant

Leaf pendant on the rolling mill


Textured brooch

Leaf pendant

Leaves on stalk pendant




















3 thoughts on “I am starting to learn fold-forming

  1. These are really cool, I love the bike and the texture on the rolling mill leaf pendant is gorgeous!

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