The HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts


Silver spinning


The process of shaping flat silver disc into a hollow item using a lathe to spin the disc whilst shaping it over a wooden nylon, aluminium or steel former, known as a spinning chuck.  See also metal spinning and silversmithing.


Status Critically endangered
Historic area of significance Sheffield, Birmingham
Area currently practised Sheffield, Surrey, Kent, Birmingham
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income) 5
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees 1
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required



Spinning produces three-dimensional hollow-ware items such as trophies, vessels and cups. Items can be made to varying scales, in quantity, in a uniform and quick way. Spinners also produce and maintain the associated tools, machinery, formers and chucks used to produce spun vessels.

In the 1950s there were hundreds of spinners, but the trade side of the industry has contracted significantly. Now very few large companies are left; most are ‘self-employed men in sheds’.



It takes practice and years of experience to learn to spin metal. Spinners understand how different metals behave and become skilled at looking at designs and understanding how best to achieve the required form.

  • Turning
  • Drafting


Local forms




  • Silver plating – over recent years many platers have closed and in Sheffield and there is only one known silver plater left.


Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Skills issues: There is a lack of training. There is also an expense of raw materials in training and lack of large orders to create repetition for trainees.
  • Market issues: The loss of large trade companies in centres such as Sheffield / Birmingham, combined with cheap imports from Far East are perceived as the biggest issues facing the craft.


Support organisations

Craftspeople currently known

Individual craftspeople:

  • Stefan Coe – Surrey
  • David Allison – Sheffield
  • Warren Martin – Sheffield
  • Stuart Ray – Kent
  • Carl Longshaw – Birmingham
  • Paul Tolland, LJ Millington – Birmingham

Part-time craftspeople:

  • Steve Millington – Birmingham, LJ Millington
  • Graham Oldfield
  • Steve Gifford – Sheffield, Camelot
  • Sam Rutherford – Sheffield, Perry & Glossop
  • Ian Nevin – Sheffield, British Silverware
  • Graham Nye & Son – Walsall, Swatkins
  • Peter Lunn


Other information