Meet Our Artisans
Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans has been producing fine, hand-crafted silver and pewter products since 1979. Our manufacturing facilities are located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the beautiful, small town of Easton. Our staff is comprised of skilled craftspeople who have spent many years learning and perfecting their craft in order to create the fine metal pieces you see in our lines. Here is a little introduction to some of our different types of artisans and the services the roles they play in producing your treasured items.
Just as our forefathers did, the artisans here at Salisbury place a flat disk of pewter into the lathe and then gently urge the metal in to the desired shape. The process for the metal spinner – from apprentice to journeyman to master spinner- can take ten years or more. The knowledge and skill acquired during that time establish a master of one of the oldest crafts in American history, metal spinning.
Many of our items require handles, finials, spouts or raised medallions. The trimmings from the spinning stages of production are saved and melted down. The valuable pewter scraps are then used to cast the smaller add-ons to the basic pieces. Through a process of centrifugal casting, the molten pewter is forced into an impression in the shape of the desired item. After cooling, the parts are removed, polished, and then added to the piece being created.
Many of Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans’ items are created from various individual parts. A julep cup may have a separate base that must be added, or a sterling baby cup may need its handle attached. The pieces are hand soldered together. With a jeweler’s touch, each piece is heated to just below the melting point, then solder is added to create a strong and seamless joint that will last a lifetime.
Each piece of metal goes through no fewer than three hand-polishing stages and each item is inspected at the beginning and end of each stage. The polishing step is what brings the metal to life. Using a fine cotton wheel and jeweler’s rouge, the experienced polisher can breathe life and exquisite beauty into a simple piece of metal. An art unto itself, the finishing process is done completely by hand. While this takes longer than an automated machine, the pride in workmanship that these craftspeople display insures a product without rival in today’s industry.
Trophies, awards of recognition or the personalization of that special baby gift….these are all jobs well done by the artisans in our engraving department. Whether it is custom engraving for your local club, a raised pewter crest for a family event, or a monogrammed piece to give as a unique gift, our craftspeople are here to help. Almost everything in our line can be customized and the possibilities are endless. Whether engraved via our computerized engraving machines or done by hand by our skilled artisans, there is no better way to commemorate the special moments in your life than with a gift from Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans.
In the final inspection, the pieces are given the white glove treatment and go through meticulous scrutiny. This is the final stage of the process prior to packaging, and the items must be perfect. Pride in our workmanship is the hallmark of Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans. Skilled craftspeople who take personal pride in every item they create is what makes Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans’ handiwork truly heirloom quality.
See Our Artisans on Discovery Channel
Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans was featured on an episode of the Discovery Channel's Factory Made. This episode shows how a pewter coffee pot is made. Enjoy!