Mosaic Bowl
Mosaic Bowl

The Mosaic Bowl is a student piece, made when the price of silver had soared to $50 an ounce. I had one sheet of thin (24 guage) sterling and had managed to smith it into a shallow bowl. Then, as a means of thickening the bowl, I soldered into it a mosaic of 444 pieces of 18 guage sterling, copper, and yellow brass.

With the successful bowl in hand, I purchased sterling for the spherical transition, and reclaimed my silver scrap for enough material to make the base. A mosaic-patterned decorative nut within the base allows the piece to be disassembled for cleaning or repair.

Parenthetically, I finished the Mosaic Bowl before the end of the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1980. Later, I counted the number of pieces in the soldered inlay. The bowl contained 444, the exact number of days that the hostages had been kept in captivity, and there were 52 inlay pieces in the decorative nut, the same as the number of hostages involved!

Mosaic in the bowl set up for soldering. The ten or so pieces to be attached can be seen at the right. While soldering, care is taken to deflect excess heat away from any previously soldered pattern.
Now showing 280 pieces of sterling, copper, and yellow brass inlay soldered in place.
Mosaic in the bowl set up for soldering. The ten or so pieces to be attached can be seen at the right. While soldering, care is taken to deflect excess heat away from any previously soldered pattern.
Now showing 280 pieces of sterling, copper, and yellow brass inlay soldered in place.
The finished bowl, sanded smooth and polished, with a wire rim soldered around the edge.
A dapping block with half-spherical holes, domed steel punches, and two sterling circles used to make the spherical transition in the design.
The finished bowl, sanded smooth and polished, with a wire rim soldered around the edge.
A dapping block with half-spherical holes, domed steel punches, and two sterling circles used to make the spherical transition in the design.
The two sterling circles are hammered into the block to make two hemispherical shapes.
The two halves are trimmed and soldered together to create a spherical shape.
The two sterling circles are hammered into the block to make two hemispherical shapes.
The two halves are trimmed and will be soldered together to create a spherical shape.
This photo shows the disassembled Mosaic Bowl — from left to right, the bowl (upside-down), the spherical transition, the base, and the decorative nut.
The assembled piece showing the mosaic decorative nut attached under the base.
This photo shows the disassembled Mosaic Bowl — from left to right, the bowl (upside-down), the spherical transition, the base, and the decorative nut.
The assembled piece showing the mosaic decorative nut attached under the base.