(click on photos to enlarge image)
BEFORE AND AFTER ON A TIFFANY STERLING PLATE
This plate came to me with chased lettering
(not engraved) that the customer wanted removed
and the overall look brought back to its
I couldn't planish out the lettering because the
metal would dramatically deform and loose
I couldn't fill it in with silver solder because
of all the pin holes and color difference that
would result. And electroforming wouldn't do.
This job required the use of my pulse arc welder
and was going to very complex.
The lower parts of the lettering were very thin
as it was chased on a steel form, and the
slightly rounded corners would be more difficult
to level with the overall disk.
These factors required numerous setting
adjustments on the welder.
On the right I'm flattening the over-filled
sterling mounds with a special smoothing mode.
This entire filling and smoothing process was
extremely time-consuming, requiring enormous
concentration and constant refocusing of the 10x
The lettering completely filled
The center disk shows no sign of
ever having been chased
The deposited sterling was then planished
over a slightly domed stake to remove any
porosity left by the welding. Then, 600-, 1200-,
and 2000-grit silicon carbide wet/dry paper was
used to remove any high spots and prepare the
surface for polishing.
The plate was repatinated and lightly polished,
resulting in a
dramatic transformation. The entire restoration
took over 14 hours!
- 2012 -
Jeffrey Herman worked at Gorham as designer,
sample maker, and technical illustrator. Upon
leaving Gorham, he took a position at Pilz Ltd where
he learned the fine art of restoration, and
fabricated mass-produced ecclesiastical ware. He
earned a BFA degree in silversmithing and jewelry
making from Maine College of Art in Portland,
studying under Harold Schremmer and Ernest Thompson,
two outstanding designer/craftsmen. He started his
business in 1984 gaining a national reputation of
quality craftsmanship repairing and reconstructing
everyting, from historical pieces to single spoons.
He is the founder of the Society of American
Further details about Jeffrey Herman and information
contact are available in his website at