Three years ago, I booked a course at the Goldsmiths Centre to up my polishing skills. Cancelled due to Covid, I finally managed to get myself re-booked onto the same course (different location), and it was definitely worth the wait.
The class, hosted by Kirsten at Workshop 925
I expected two full days dedicated to silver polishing to be messy, repetitive and uneventful. However, it was highly rewarding, with fascinating processes, varied hands-on work and great stories (many of which I can’t share!) Leading expert Stephen M Goldsmith, also known as the Polishing Guru, lived up to his name. Steve and I had already connected over social media (we were hacked by the same group – that’s another post). He’s a generous contributor to the silversmithing and jewellery community, patiently answering endless queries, responding to messages. I’ve never been in a class with more furious note and video taking. Everything that came out was a gem of information.
There is a mind-boggling range of ‘hardware’ out there. Mops, brushes, of every shape, size and material you can think and of polishing compounds in a plethora of colours and brands.
Steve is one of the most experienced in this field, working for the top jewellery houses in the UK, with previous clients ranging from royalty to celebrity. He regularly polishes highly prestigious and valuable objets d'art. One was so valuable that a team of security watched over him as he worked his magic. He is trade through and through, and a reminder of my time working with the trade at Hatton Garden and Birmingham some 20 years ago.
Achieving a super high polish that renders the surface as reflective as a mirror.
Back home and armed with new knowledge, I did a shop of new polishing materials. I have dollies and knife edges, mops and felts. I have brushes in brass and plastic, but also horse, hog and goats hair. The huge range of compounds no longer confounds and I can do a mean mirror polish.