Step 1:  ​3D print your outer bowl

Firstly you will need to 3D print your outer bowl using brass fill PLA filament.  You can download a version of the file here:

Step 2:  3D print your press mold for the internal bowl

You will then need to print your tool for pressing your inside bowl using PLA filament.  You can download a version of the file here:

Part 3:  Cut a brass plate for your press form

It is import to cut a brass plate for the top of your press mould so that when you are using the press former the edges of your press won't fold in under the pressure.  This makes your final piece neater around the edges and allows you to use the tool for longer.

Cut a piece of brass the same size as your press form surface.  Measure the width of the hole and draw this onto the center of the sheet of brass using dividers.  Drill a hole through this and cut out the circle using a piercing saw.

File down the rough edges and ensure this fits the press form perfectly.  I used masking tape to keep this central on the form whilst using.

Part 4:  Cut and anneal your metal

Cut a square piece of metal that overlaps the edge of your press.  You should then anneal this to a cherry red color.

Quench your metal in cold water and place in the pickle to clean.

Part 5:  Press form your bowl

Place the bottom section of your press forming tool on to the base plate of the press former.  Lay your copper sheet on top of this followed by rubber and a steel block. 

You may need to re-anneal and repeat this process several times until your bowl is deep enough.  Whilst press forming if your edges start to fold up, hammer them flat again after pressing using a mallet.  This stops the folds making the bowl uneven.

Part 6:  Cut out your bowl

Using a piercing saw, cut your bowl out of the sheet. 

Part 7:  File and clean up your bowl

Arbroath Bowl


To make this bowl you will need brass filament, copper sheet 1mm and access to gold plating.

Why make a bowl like this?

3D printing the outside section is a very quick and accurate means of production.  You can create intricate designs in interesting materials that are easily built without the input of handcraft.

3D printing the press form allows for much deeper presses than what would otherwise be possible from a laser cut form.

In using both techniques you are able to create a piece containing traditional and modern techniques.

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Karen-Ann Dicken

how to make your own Arbroath Bowl