Hammered Home: Silversmith Skills in Colonial Williamsburg

Two women with hammers and roughly-hammered copper bowls stand around an anvil, while a man in period costume looks at their work.

July 17, 2019

By Emily Whitted, WPAMC Class of 2020   The uneven ringing of eight hammers echoed loudly in the small silversmith’s shop on a Friday afternoon in Colonial Williamsburg. Under the watchful eye of Georg Cloyed, master silversmith, our Craftsmanship class immersed into the world of working silver and copper. [caption id="attachment_4395" align="aligncenter" width="983"] Master silversmith George Cloyed instructs us on different forms of ...

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The Durfey Tailor Shop on DoG Street: Bespoke Garments for The Everyman

July 10, 2019

By Paul Thien, MALS Student at the University of Delaware The “Tailor” section in The London Tradesman, written by R. Campbell in 1747, partially prepared me for the eighteenth-century clothing experience. I can attest to the accuracy of the meaning of the word Tailor- “the art of cutting.” Campbell believed the tailor “… ought to have a quick eye to steal the cut of a sleeve.”  I volunteered as the recipient of a custom-tailored pair of ...

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Physical Sense in the Wheelwright Shop

Two men stand behind a vise holding a piece of wood between two spikes.

July 03, 2019

By James Kelleher, WPAMC Class of 2020 Our recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg was a rare opportunity to focus in on a variety of craft and manufacturing processes, and to get a taste of what performing these crafts process is actually like through hands-on workshops. There’s a certain type of understanding that can’t be related visually or verbally: it has to be physically experienced. Through their training (and experimentation), craftspeople ...

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Fire and Forearms

A left hand, palm facing up. Balanced across this hand is an S-hook, or iron bar shaped into an elongated S-shape. It has little curls at each end and a twist in the middle.

June 26, 2019

By Elizabeth Palms, WPAMC Class of 2020 You would not look at my 5’1”, ballet flat-wearing self and imagine me striking a hammer on an anvil with my sleeves rolled up, revealing my highly-toned biceps and sculpted forearms in the glimmer of a furnace light. However, during our Preindustrial Craftsmanship field study trip to Colonial Williamsburg, I got to try my hand at forging an iron S-hook in the armory—sans the highly-toned arm ...

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