Fire and hammer: forging is an elemental process. Blacksmiths and silversmiths have had it at the core of their practice for millennia.

I feel a deep connection with forging. There is great satisfaction in making something that has strength and beauty using the bare minimum of tools. For example, to make a faceted forged ring I use a ball pein hammer, a planishing hammer, a punch, two mandrels and a torch to anneal the metal.

On occasion I will need to gently file off any sharp edges once the ring is finished. The smoothness of the steel mandrel gives the inside surface of the ring a near-polished finish.

Creating work without soldering or fusing, and sometimes without any polishing or other finishing shows the raw elemental character of the metal. On occasion I will set a stone in a ring and I particularly enjoy the contrapositive effect of a gem set in a raw brass ring.

Many cultures have a long history of forging, usually with the most basic tool set. I have responded to the challenge of making my version of West African fulani forging, and made some earrings in fine silver.