Once in a while, LUGDUN ARTISANS gets a special commission from individuals worth noting. A few weeks back we were asked to fabricate a pair of silver ear plugs for a French artist with a keen sense of style, both personal and professional.
The artist proposed for LUGDUN ARTISANS to create a one of a kind set of 34mm ear plugs with no specific design in mind. From there, company founder Marcos Miranda came up with an idea inspired by the Celts of Gaul (modern day France). Silver, curves, spirals and organic design was the formula to make these custom pieces. A Triskele (triple spiral design) was chosen to be the main focal point on the front of the plug, with sun rays around the disk’s perimeter. After having drawn an initial draft of an idea for inspiration, manufacturing work began using ancient metalsmithing techniques.
*Some of you may ask, why a Triskele? This is a common symbol found throughout the ancient and modern “Celtic” culture. There are many meanings associated to this symbol including the motion of action, cycles, progress, revolution and competition. Life-death-rebirth, spirit-mind-body, mother-father-child, past-present-future, power-intellect-love and creation-preservation-destruction can also be associated to it. It has a strong meaning and can be associated to all of us in one way or another.
Different stakes and mini anvils had to be used to give form to the complicated conical plugs containing concave and convex curves.
“The most important part when metal shaping is to make sure your seams are tight”, says Marcos. It’s important to note that when you fold your cylinder, you need to create a zigzag edge pattern on the seam to create the most surface area for soldering, and to reduce the strain caused by stretching the material when you are forming it. When the forming pattern was determined, a line was drawn around the cylinder to keep the hammered pattern consistent. It is important to reheat the silver after each round to keep the material malleable. Ignoring this step will cause you to risk fracturing the silver, destroying your hard work.
*(There isn't any specific way to form metal. It really all depends on the stake or piece of material you are hammering the sheet onto. It's up to you to determine how much you want to fold and where.)