Continuing our guided tour to our jewellery workshop and the goldsmithing skills and tools we work with every day, we’re now diving into how we push, pull, bend, hammer and roll precious metals into useful and recognisable shapes. Let’s start with one of the biggest, heaviest and most expensive pieces of equipment in a workshop – the rolling mill! This is a serious bit of finely balanced kit which is generally bolted to a countertop, heavy table or an indoor tree trunk. An alternative is to have it on a stand that is then bolted to the floor. It’s important to be able to apply a certain amount of body weight to the rolling mill in the knowledge that it is not going to shift!
In the world of jewellery, measurements can be tiny! The thickness of the metal can make a huge difference to the final weight, and price, of a piece of jewellery. As a result, it is worth taking the time, and applying the arm muscle, to making sure you’re working with the correct thickness of metal. When making a metal sheet, or bar, thinner or narrower the mechanisms applied are not dissimilar to how pasta is made!