Silverwork of Burma – Method of Working

Joseph Cohen Harry Tilly, Silver 519 Views

T he method of the Burmese silversmith can best be explained by describing the making of a bowl. The silver is melted in a flat clay saucer over a flaming fire and, when purified, is allowed to cool in the saucer, which serves as the mold to produce a plate, flat on one side and convex on the other, about ½ inch to ¾ inch thick. The silver plate is then gradually beaten out on a round iron anvil with an iron hammer until it is of the full diameter of the bowl to be produced.

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    When correctly modelled the wax figure is coated over with a thin layer of fine clay, well-kneaded and mixed with dried powdered horse dung and afterwards with a thick layer of river silt. The mould is baked in the fire, the wax melts and runs out through a hole left for the purpose, and the clay becomes as hard as brick. The melted silver is run in while the mould is red hot, and when cool the mould is broken and the silver is chased and carved until complete.

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    Joseph CohenSilverwork of Burma – Method of Working