Jam Making Season

Whilst in the garden last week I noticed my next door neighbours blackcurrants were ready for picking. When I got a chance to speak to them they said that they were leaving them for the birds this year. “Far too many for the birds” I said, to which they replied “help yourself to some if you want and the cherries will be ready soon too.”

With no further ado I hopped over the fence and picked a couple of bowlfuls of blackcurrants. A fellow traveller on the train had mentioned a few weeks earlier that gooseberry and blackcurrant jam was delicious and seeing as though we had our own gooseberries from our garden this seemed the ideal time to try making the new combination.

Take 650gm of gooseberries and 350gm of blackcurrants along with 300ml of water and simmer gently until very soft. Add 1kg of sugar and bring to the boil slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly until setting point is reached and decant into warmed sterilised jars and seal. Delicious!!!

Why not enjoy any jam served from my sterling silver & crystal preserve bowl which is part of the ‘Appetite’ collection.

The collection is one I designed a few years ago and is contemporary in style and has everything for the table.

Another example of this collection is the sterling silver salt & pepper grinders, something that can be used at every meal during the day.

Enjoy silver- use silver!

Keeping Silversmithing Simple!

The annual order for 2 flags on plinths came through as expected. Just to make life a little more difficult, they are not to be made from silver but base metal silver plated.

These flags are bent as though they are flying, necessitating the material to be malleable. Most brass (while good to engrave) is difficult to bend so gilding metal was chosen. This is quite difficult to obtain these days in small quantities so a piece was selected from stock. – 1.6mm thick.

This is to thick to bend by hand and was therefore rolled down to .6mm. What a job in itself!!!! It entailed 8 anneals to try to keep the material relatively flat.

The next step is to cut out the flag profile and polish and prepare for engraving.

After deep routed engraving with the competition logo and details, the flag blanks are bent to form the flying flag (not easy without spoiling the engraving and surface. Next the flag pole has the finial turned onto the top and is soldered onto the flag.

The unit is then sent for silver plating. While away being plated the wooden plinth and inscription plates are made, polished and assembled.

Finally the know silver plated flags are forced into the wooden plinths, the baize is glued in slots in the base and turned around the edge.

Job done – another pair of happy winners.

Supplied by JA Campbell Silversmiths