Fine Silver Designs on Steel (aka Koftgari)
Level: Beginning and Intermediate
Would you like to learn the ancient technique of Koftgari by which intricate silver designs were overlaid on swords, axes and other iron possessions of the Saxons,Vikings and other, related cultures?
I offer classes on Koftgari, a decorative technique that has been used since the Viking era and before to decorate iron objects – especially weapons – with pure silver, gold and copper. It is performed by mechanically bonding soft metal wire to the hand-textured surface of iron or steel – a process that requires only simple hand tools and can easily be done at home. Traditional designs range from geometric patterns and knotwork to free-flowing artistic compositions. Koftgari results in stunningly vibrant decoration with surprisingly little effort.
On the first day of class students will forge small articles of soft steel such as personal effects or household implements. These items can be inspired by historical artifacts – books will be available for reference.
On day 2 the students will prepare the surfaces of their forging projects so that fine silver can be applied to them in decorative patterns according to the students’ taste. The silver will be tacked into place, then planished. Afterwards the items will be heat-darkened and waxed for use.
All of the necessary tools and materials will be provided. Some of the specialized tools will be available for sale to those students who would like to continue this technique on their own.
I invite you come and learn about the versatile and inspiring technique of Koftgari!