Menna Jones

Lemel Scoop

Making a Lemel Scoop


Draw and cut a large oval from a piece of 11cm x 7cm (0.7mm) Gilding metal, making sure you use all the metal to avoid wastage.

Cut the mass with a guillotine and the rest with a pair of shears. Making sure there are no sharp edges by filing the sides, this will prevent cutting your hand as you will be handling the metal a fair amount.

Anneal and pickle the metal before working, making sure there isn’t any remaining oxidisation on the metal, this will make the metal softer and malleable.

Draw a smaller oval in the inside leaving a small amount of metal for the handle to be folded over at a later stage.

Start on a sand bag, hammering the smaller oval, using the blocking hammer to start forming the piece, the blocking hammers come in many shapes, sizes, and in different materials. Hammer in a circular motion working from the outside inwards towards the centre. Holding the piece with your hand at a higher angle each time so that the metal has somewhere to go on the sand bag. Keep annealing and pickling the oval to soften the metal to make it easier to work with.

To rounder the metal, use the smaller side of the hammer closer to the centre, although I used the larger side in the centre to make it deeper and the smaller side on the outside.

Once you are satisfied with the roundness and depth of the scoop, start on the handle. My handle ended up a different shape to the others which I liked. Instead of making the handle flat (by using an anvil), the metal moved almost by itself to create a tortoise shell shape, which felt better to hold than the flatter handles when I held the demonstration piece.

Finally, when you’re happy with the shape of the Lemel Scoop, planish with a planishing hammer to harden the piece. When using the planishing hammer, hammer it in sequence, making sure you hammer over the last dent, in a circular motion, from the outside inwards). Do not anneal the metal at the planishing stage otherwise it will be soft and won’t keep its shape.