Cosi Tabellini takes great pride in its Italian craftsmanship, using age-old techniques faithful to the Lombardy tradition of pewtering, with little changing since ancient times. We believe that hand-crafting our products in Lombardy, northern Italy, is a defining aspect of our authenticity.
With a range extending to over a thousand unique contemporary and classic pieces, it is the transformation of the design idea, from an image in one's head, onto paper in a series of sketches, and then into an actual workable object, that is the remarkable skill. To ensure the highest standards of production, we therefore only work with the best pewtersmiths in Italy as the quality of our items and attention to detail are paramount to our success.
It takes at least 10 years to fully train our craftsmen from apprentice to master pewtersmith, and collectively our workshop possesses over 350 years of accumulated pewtersmithing experience!
Read on below to learn about the main stages in the manufacturing process by Cosi Tabellini artisans:
1. Prototype Creation
Modern moulds are made from silicon rubber, although some of the original iron moulds are still used, with built-in imperfections to capture an antiqued and distressed look to the surface of the cast pewter.
Each pewter piece is made up of a number of different moulds; one for the main body, and then others for the different components. Some pieces require as many as seven different moulds.
The raw materials (tin, copper and antimony) are cut up and heated to 300C in a kiln, and very quickly a beautiful molten liquid is formed, which, using a casting ladle, is poured into the mould with extreme care. The molten pewter is forced into every nook and cranny of the mould by centrifugal force or air pressure. Once cooled, the pewter is gently extracted and any superfluous lumps and bumps leftover from the casting process are removed. If you would like to read more about what our pewter is made of, please click here.
By skilled polishing and then rubbing using increasingly fine graded wool, ‘finishing’ rids the surface of any roughness and imperfections, yet retains the character of the piece. The final buff is undertaken using a fine polishing cloth.
Each piece is then assembled, welded and soldered by hand. This is an extremely skilful and technical procedure, especially with pieces designed to hold liquids.
At this point any decorative chiselling and engraving is undertaken, including touchmarks, to enhance the overall character of the object. A final colour wash and gentle polish highlights any decorative relief and the piece is ready for packaging.