After the plates have cooled, they are polished to a golden shine and then the most important and individual part of the process happens. A complex hammering maneuver, that is part machine and part by hand, is what creates the unique sound that every cymbal from the UFIP workshop is renowned for. We donned earphones and watched as a deafening thwamp of the machine filled the small space and dented the pristine metal.
Mallets of different sizes and weights of are then used to finish this part of process of creating the cymbal. This hammering action fuses the metal and balances the sound. We learned how the sound develops from the center of the cymbal and that it must be perfectly balanced or the sound will not be even.
Each piece starts out as a piece of metal weighing 3.5 kilograms and ending up as a finished instrument that must weigh exactly 1.2 kilograms. The part I found most interesting was that each cymbal must be aged before they can be sold. A process not unlike the process to produce a fine Tuscan Cinta Senese prosciutto!