A proper flask has always been considered an essential tool for us at Atlantic Rancher. Now, many believe they are meant for just one purpose, but that’s not necessarily true. I’ve got lots of stories about flasks that don't involve sippin’. More on that at another time.
For now, please meet our man in Sheffield, England - Mr. Ray Smith. I worked with Ray back in 1995 to develop our original flask samples. I still have them. However, I took my eye off the ball for two seconds and the flasks that ended up in our inventory were not made by Ray...they were indeed imposters of much lesser material and make. Seems our “purchasing guy” did a switcheroo. My mistake for not payin’ attention.
Mr. Ray Smith was first introduced to the pewter
manufacturing trade when he was 16, an apprentice polishing and buffing small items. He then moved up to the metal spinning workshop, where the pewter round metal disc and shaping takes place on a shaped chuck that's attached to the
His father learned him as a youngster how to forge
and shape metals and how to weld them together, while his Mother worked as a polisher in the cutlery and hollowware and taught him how to polish different type of hollowware.
Soon, he made a small workshop at home and started making different shapes of flasks and tankards...according to Ray, “the more difficult the better, it was a challenge!” Along the way, he learned how to metalsmith precious metals and how to make form tools to create different shapes...old-world techniques which he still applies today using his two hands to make tools without CNC lathes or milling machines. And as others have done for him, Ray is now passing his knowledge, skills, and pride of his trade to his grandson, Mr. Jack Lewis, who will undoubtedly carry on in the tradition of excellence that is the foundation of Sheffield Pewter Craft Company.
Which brings us here: The Atlantic Rancher Flask, each handcrafted in 100% English pewter by Ray, from scratch to the box...without scratches. The fancy embellishments are stamped onto the pewter while still in sheet form, by hand using a press...not machine laser engraved as you might find when shopping for groomsmen’s gifts at the mall.