I didn’t know a fraction of what I was going to absorb over the next 11 years and I learn something new every day. Silversmiths in Colonial Williamsburg On this frigid day in Colonial Williamsburg we watched silversmiths fashioning bowls by hammering sheets of silver over round molds. He was probably the son of John and Ann Craig, both jewelers and goldsmiths in London. The trade was initially plied at what is now the Margaret Hunter Shop and moved in 1955 to the location where 18th-century silversmith James Craig kept his shop, called the Golden Ball. Near the end of my time there, a professor informed me of a much-coveted opening in the silversmith shop. In 2001, I began a 10,000-hour apprenticeship. A Colonial American silversmith required experience and skill to … “That’s the kind of thing we get excited about,” Cloyed said. Craig had arrived in Williamsburg from London by 1746, when he placed an ad in the Virginia Gazette saying he had opened a shop on Francis Street. Drop in and see how our silversmiths turn ingots into works of art. . So we have hammers with very flat and polished faces faces many many fear fear fear. Cloyed recalled a visit from the Rev. By 1997, the Foundation had decided to focus on its core mission of education. George Cloyed, Colonial Williamsburg’s master silversmith, recalled traveling to Howard University in Washington, D.C., to study some of the objects. They melt silver into a mold to form a solid ingot. Among the few surviving works are a silver nameplate and handles that silversmith William Waddill made for the coffin of Lord Botetourt, whose remains were buried in 1770 beneath the Wren Chapel floor at William & Mary. His ad said he made “all sorts of Jeweller’s Work, in the best Manner.” Craig lived and worked at the current site of the Golden Ball from 1765 until he died in the early 1790s. They cast decorations or handles and solder them on. Colonial Williamsburg tips Wear comfortable shoes. “That was a real emotional eye-opener,” Cloyed said. These included cuff links, pins, buttons and a silver earring that had been in the ear of a young boy buried in the cemetery. Then they hammer it into sheet and shape the sheet on an anvil. There were hundreds of objects to choose from and Cloyed focused on reproducing some of the metal ones. And they spend a lot of time polishing. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. The Official Website of Colonial Williamsburg: Explore the historical shops, homes and gardens of an early American community returned to its 18th-century … This past week, I was treated to a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Va.—the first English settlement in the U.S. Before then, silversmiths focused on producing large quantities of goods to sell. I grew up in the Northeast where places like Boston , Mount Vernon and Sturbridge Village are more common. The property was sold to a dot com millionaire who declared bankruptcy before completing the purchase and the empty facility remained in limbo for more than a decade. There I began my work as a pantograph operator — a machine engraver. Both Craig and Geddy joined the Association for Nonimportation. Find the perfect gift for someone special with unique and exclusive Colonial Williamsburg jewelry. So many people today don’t understand the concept of making something and making your living doing that.”. Silversmiths also conducted repairs of silver items for wealthy and middle-class citizens. ©2020 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Blair’s congregants donated silver jewelry, tableware and other objects to be melted down. It’s very thematic. 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