Con Brio fold forming fold forming 2 hand forging

The Making of Con Brio

The making of Con Brio involved three main techniques

Fold forming

Each element is made by folding a sheet of metal in half, as you would a piece of paper. Using a flat hammer I flatten the folded metal along the edges. I then use a textured hammer to apply a pattern to the surface.

The technique is a combination of origami and forging. The metal is annealed (a heating process to soften the metal) and then opened out to reveal a three-dimensional form.

The metal is formed and shaped over wood with nylon hammers and also using the most basic of tools, fingers and hands!

Hand forging

This technique lends itself to graceful transitions from plane to plane and appealing contrasts of thick to thin sections.

Through a combination of force and control, metal is moved and shaped with intermittent sharp blows from a hammer while the metal is red hot. To produce a tapering length I hammer a series of blows along the length of a round rod of silver.


The construction of the organic structure of spiralling leaf forms, tendrils and trailing leaf forms was carried out in stages using the technique of soldering.

The preparation before soldering is critical. The body of the piece is secured with iron binding wire. This helps secure the joints so they do not spring apart during the heating and soldering process.

The piece is placed on a rotating hearth and the metal surfaces to be joined are painted with a flux called borax, which aids the solder to flow. Using intense heat and a steady hand, the stick solder is feed to the joints. The flame moving with it and when the solder runs, what you see is a bright silver line running through the length of the join – which is pure magic to see! After each soldering operation the metal becomes oxidised because of the heat. To clean the surface the piece is placed in a pickle bath filled with an acid solution. After successful soldering the joins are cleaned up and any surplus solder removed by filing.