Friday, 20 April 2012

The rebirth of a Victorian pickle fork.

It is dangerous in our house to leave any precious metal lying about as it is likely to be eyed up, chopped up and melted.

This is an example. Raking through the kitchen drawers I chanced upon an old pickle fork I had forgotten we had. It was very tarnished having been languishing in the back of the drawer unused and unwanted.

Well off to my workshop with it. After a quick polish to reveal the hallmarks, I checked them to make sure it was indeed silver and before I got caught I cut it into pieces. This was not un-calculated butchery, but well considered surgery.

Chopped up

Having chopped it up, I hammered out some of the pieces to get rid of the bow in them; the tines, the part to which the tines were attached and the second section from the right in the above photo. The handle end being left for the present as it was quite thick and the middle section of the handle left untouched as it was nicely reeded.

I doodled with the pieces to see if anything would come to mind.

Doodle ballerina?

Hmmm well there is potential but that is not my cup of tea. Looking again at the tines, the centre one was nice and straight and quite obviously looked like the blade of a sword so off to the workbench to see what might happen.

Pickle sword

The above picture shows the result. I hammered the tine to give it a more edged look, soldered on a small piece of square section sterling wire for the crosspiece or whatever it is called and a piece of round sterling wire for the handle. The hand-guard was a piece of scrap that was already a half circle so that got soldered to the handle and the little tassel was made from small pieces of 9ct gold 0.5mm wire. I did make a little tassel in gold and red thread but thought it was too fragile so made the metal one instead.

So now being a bit single minded, the other tines too made me think of weapons for the tiny handed. I took one of the remaining tines with the barb on fashioned it into a scimitar.

Pickle scimitar

For this one it was much the same as the sword, hammering the tine to give it a blade like appearance, putting a curve into it and soldering on a cross piece of scrap I had lying around, a small piece of thick sterling wire for the handle and then to add a little eastern promise I bezel set a small ruby and mounted it as a pommel.

The next piece to be brought to life from the death of the pickle fork was a little pendant. I had been commissioned to make a rubellite cabochon pendant the back plate for which was cut from the part of the fork near the tines. 

Rubellite cabochon pendant

The lady wanted a particular type of fancy bezel, which I had to buy in, there was and is a fair bit of the stuff left over so I thought I would use some on a nice fluorite cabochon I had. I made a shield shaped back plate for the cabochon from the other end of the dead fork just beyond the unhammered middle section, and embellished it with a little scroll bail.

Pickle shield

The next two pieces to come about happened over the last few days. I had already hammered out the handle end of the fork and it had been sitting on my workbench for some time, when I was inspired by a pair of earrings I had seen in a TV programme, seen only for about 5 seconds, they took my fancy and so I made a pair of a similar nature.

Pickle earrings

I had to hand a couple of fine silver hoops I had made a while back, so I dug them out and cut the two blade shapes from the remaining end of the pickle fork soldered them to a couple of pieces of tube and suspended them on the hoops, finishing them off with a a simple pair of ear wires I made from sterling wire.

I do not normally make rings but at the beginning of the week I did make one and as mentioned before I kind of get one track minded, so out came the middle section of the pickle fork with its nice reeding, which I have to say is quite thick and took some bashing and annealing to get into a ring shape, and another ring was made. I used a bit more of the handle end of the fork to make the back plate for the stone.

Pickle ring
So there you have it, one Victorian pickle fork reborn. The image below is all that is left of it, all other cut offs and scraps have been melted down, to be hammered out once again for further use.

Pickle fork bones :0)

All of these things were made over a period of months, as and when the opportunity arose to use the silver from the pickle fork, except the last two as I mentioned.

I hope you find this a fun and inspiring post on how you too can recycle.

All images will enlarge for better viewing if clicked.


  1. An amusing, clever and interesting post. Well done

  2. How clever! All of them turned out really well. And to think--a pickle fork!

    1. :0) Thank you Paige real nice of you to say so.

  3. I love how you show what you did with it all. I'm always looking around the house at pieces of metal and anything exciting I might have laying around. neat things !! What is the stone in the ring ? it's beautiful !

    1. Hi there, the stone is gilalite otherwise known as medusa quartz and yes it is a lovely stone.

  4. With BullionVault you can obtain physical bullion bars at current market exchange rates.

    Create a free account now and get 4 g's in free silver as a joining bonus.