Stirred by a Cocktail Shaker - The Silver Company

Don't Know JAC?

Looking for a place to introduce the ingredients of a sidecar or daiquiri? You will find no better home than the Solid Silver Cocktail Shaker Set by JAC available through The Silver Company.

JAC is the hallmark of master silversmith John Campbell who makes the cocktail set to order. Being made to order, the shaker, tray or glasses can be engraved with the name of your favourite yacht or miniature dachshund.

How the Cocktail Shaker is Made

The shaker is handmade entirely from silver sheet through a mixture of silver-smithing techniques that include spinning, seaming and planishing. We give an abridged version of what is a very technical and labour-intensive process to create the shaker here, to illustrate the craftsmanship behind the product. (If we gave the full version, your eyes might swivel like mine. It takes a lot of work to create something of quality let me tell you.)

Step 1 - Spinning

Spinning is an ancient method of producing round hollow sheet-made objects on a lathe and is only suitable for small production runs. Two discs of silver are used, one as a base piece and one part cut to a template that forms the tapered body.

Using a metal spinning lathe, a preformed shape known as a 'chuck' is screwed on to the mandrill of the lathe and the disc is wrapped around the chuck while it is spinning. The skill for the silversmith is to prevent the metal from buckling whilst forming the object. Once the silver has been spun onto the chuck, the uneven edges are trimmed to their finished height, using a hand-held turning tool.

Step 2 - Seaming

The main body template, cut from sheet is rolled using a cylinder roller until both edges meet. It has 3 stainless steel rods laid along its length and a spiral of iron 'binding' wire wound around from end to end to solder it into place.

Step 3 - Planishing

The body is now pushed onto a tapered chuck on the lathe and planished to make the body very straight, flat and smooth. Two lines are turned into the body. It is then held on a jenny machine to swage out a half round roll at the top of the body to grip when pulling the cap off. The removable body cap has a corresponding roll swaged.

Step 4 - English Hallmarking and Finishing

Once complete, the shaker is punched with John's mark and initials. It is then sent to the London Assay Office for thorough testing of every component. Only if all the components prove to be greater than 92.5% silver are the remaining hallmarks punched into the surface. The English hallmarking system is one of the oldest forms of consumer protection and dates back to the 1400s.

After hallmarking, the shaker is finished and passed to the polishing shop where 4 different grades of compound polish are used to produce the sheen associated with quality silver products. Ultrasonic cleaning takes place and the item is then rinsed, dried and inspected.

When John is completely satisfied it is packed into its presentation box and ready for those delicious ingredients.


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