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Erik pours 450 °C hot liquid pewter in the 100 °C hot mould on the workbench. He has just begun the production of an Estrid Ericson vase and, even with the protection of a fireman’s glove, a steady hand is essential.
He pinches hard as he attaches clamps to the mould to make it stick together. However, it is soon time to remove the clamps again. Pewter solidifies in seconds and it is important to remove the vase section from the mould as soon as possible. Although Erik has done this hundreds of times, occasionally he fails. Ideal temperature conditions are required in order for the pewter to correctly fill the pattern in the mould.
“Pewter is the most time consuming of all the metals; it always contains dross and impurities. Fortunately, pewter also has a forgiving nature: it can be melted down innumerable times.”
Erik and his wife Inger founded the workshop in Västergötland in 1979. The bronze mould used to cast Estrid Ericson’s Peruvian Urn was manufactured at the H. Bergman Fine Art Foundry, Stockholm in the 1920s and the urn is produced in exactly the same way today.
Today the couple’s son Oskar and two other young employees work in the metal workshop, which is one of the few remaining pewter artisan workshops in Sweden. This family-owned business manufactures Svenskt Tenn’s most advanced pewter and brass products, including, in addition to Estrid Ericson’s vase, Anna Petrus’ pewter lions and Josef Frank’s candlestick, The Friendship Knot.