Silversmith: Jan Marie Larson Crafts Hundreds of Different Designs and Sizes of Thimbles in Sterling Silver
By: Thimbles For You
Larson's sterling silver thimbles are made using an ancient method called 'Lost Wax Casting.' Each piece is first made out of wax which is tried on and perfected, then covered with a porcelain-like investment. The invested assembly is put into a firing kiln and heated up to about 1400 degrees overnight. During the heating process, the porcelain gets hard, and then the wax drips out and burns up, leaving a void in the porcelain where the smelted silver is poured. After the silver casting/pouring takes place in a vacuum seal (to avoid bubbles), the piece is set on a concrete floor for about 20 minutes to allow it to cool to around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is then plunged into a bucket of cold water, and the porcelain shatters into the water, leaving a silver piece exactly like the wax piece that it started with. Freshly cast silver is 'dead soft,' so it needs to be hardened with another overnight in the hardening kiln. The casting and finishing process takes about a week to make a batch of 80 to 100 pieces. Because of the casting method, each piece has unique qualities, and Larson fits each piece to the finger.
Because the industry has made S-M-L their normal product lines, Larson designs thimbles that fit extra-large fingers or extra-small ones as a big part of her work. "I want to have a thimble to fit every finger," she states. Her styles are sized using American Ring Sizes. They are divided in the quarter sizes, so even within the "Robin's Nest" thimble style, there are 6 sizes: 4, 4 ½, 5, 5 ½, 6, 6 ½.
At Jan Larson's Thimbles For You.com website, customers can find tailor's thimbles and yubinuki thimble bands as well as other sterling silver sewing tools and accessories. Her chatelaines are uniquely adorned with farm scenes and critters from nature. Jan's "Prairie in the Summer" has coneflowers and butterflies.
A little about Jan Marie Larson: Larson is a busy farmer's daughter in Fairfield, Iowa. Her work in creating beautiful sterling silver items is her way of keeping alive an earlier time when we made clothes and blankets by hand.
About Thimbles For You
Thimbles For You is Jan Marie Larson's business offering handcrafted sterling silver thimbles, sewing accessories, and jewelry pieces that every generation can enjoy.
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