A series of sandblasting, polishing, and buffing techniques transform the surfaces from crudely industrial to kitchen-ready. In a room of craftsmen, motorized wheels spin brushes, against which gloved hands hold pieces firmly in place. On rough bristles and then fluffy buff materials, each piece goes from hazy to gleaming. Making stainless steel shine like silver has been crucial to Alessi since its 1921 beginnings, when silver still defined table setting.
Components too small for wheel-type polishers are placed in vats of gentle abrasives—including nutshells and corn–that jiggle for 6 to 18 hours. The abrasives turn black, coated in steel dust; the components come out with their burred edges softened.