We're always looking for new products to grow or make on the farm. Ben recently got a chance to work on his crafting skills by taking two metalsmithing classes! The first was a tinsmithing class in Indiana, while the second was a coppersmithing class in Ohio. There are substantial differences between the smithing techniques.
Tinsmithing involves taking sheets of steel that are electroplated with tin to prohibit rust. Great care must be taken when forming the tinplate to prevent scratches that would cause deterioration of the underlying steel.
Coppersmithing starts with sheets of solid copper. The copper sheets are continually beaten into shape with various hammers. This hammering causes the copper to become hard and brittle, so periodically the object is annealed by heating, usually with a torch. If the copper object will hold food or drink, it must then be coated with tin on the interior to prevent a metallic taste from being imparted on the food or drink.
For those interested in taking classes or just learning more, the following website is a good resource:
Below are fruits of Ben's labor (left to right):
tin cup with straight sides, tin candle wall sconce, copper "moscow mule" cup with curved sides, tin handheld candle holder with punch pattern, tin cup with sloped sides and beading
We are Four Flags Farm, Armonda & Ben Riggs!