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Dave Slowe, Metalsmith

Joined Wentworth Pewter: 1963, our longest-standing colleague!

Role: Translating a customer’s designs into a usable product. Hammering products into shape, soldering the seams of tankards.

The craft: I joined the team as an apprentice when I was 15 year’s old and worked for the original Mr Wentworth. He was a metalsmith and having learnt his craft with renowned cutlers, Viners, he taught me the tools of the trade.

Pewter is great for ornamental gifts, it gives a beautiful polish, but it’s a soft metal and hard to solder. When you’re fitting handles to different tankards, you’ve got be careful that it doesn’t melt and end up with pinholes in the finish. You have to learn by experience and your mistakes.

Traditional kitchenware and coffee sets used to be a mainstay of the business, these days it’s more ornamental gifts to mark a special occasion. Times may have changed but the skills and techniques I use haven’t.

Special projects: I’ve worked on several products with the renowned British designer, Nick Monroe; a large salver for the Worshipful Company of Pewterers for a Royal Wedding and many gifts for Wedgewood. My favourite item is a coffee set that Mr Wentworth himself gave me.

The hallmark of Wentworth Pewter: I met my wife at the factory, so you could call Wentworth Pewter a genuinely family business. We’ve stood the test of time because we’re constantly evolving our products and being challenged as pewtersmiths to push the boundaries of what’s possible in design and production.

 

Dave SloweDave Slowe 2

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