Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter quarter 2013, metal smithing

At school, the Winter quarter of 2013, my program has me in the fine metals studio, as I was a couple years ago. I am learning new things, and building on skills with every day I work in here. Fine metals is much more interesting and appealling to me than I believed it would be.
During this middle portion of the quarter I am focused on learning the fundamentals of Smithing. Basically, that is hammering metal into a shape. Think Paul Revere, the silversmith. But silver is ridiculously expensive, so we use copper. I have done some minor hammer shaping in the past, but this time she has us starting a bit deeper into the process.

First: take a sheet of copper. In our instance, it is 12 gauge, or about 3/8 inch thick.

But to get to that nice circle, you have to cut it out of a larger sheet. With a teensy-tiny jeweler's blade. (I know, there must be something easier. But we are learning all the steps. Charming, no?)

Then you make the metal nice and soft, by heating it up.

Then you hit it with a hammer. A lot. Over and over.

Then you heat again. And hit some more. And repeat. After a few rounds of this, that nice flat sheet looks like this.

Eventually, the nice sheet of metal will grow up into a bowl like my classmate's here. And my arm will fall off. But it is fun, I promise!

I hope to have a finished smithed object to share sometime within the month. LOL

Scarf for my grandmother

Just a quick snap of a scarf I pulled together at the last minute yesterday so that I could gift my grandmother on her 90th birthday. Because obviously, I didn't have enough time to prepare ahead of time. But who needs sleep!
The warp is a very soft wool/silk. I got it in a brown-bag swap, so I am not sure of the actual type, but I would bet on it being a Jagggerspun. It was 12 wpi, and I set it at 12 epi. The weft is a curious yarn I found at Yarnia in Portland, OR. It is a ply of one strand cotton and three strands of rayon, resulting in a very loose, and shiny fiber. There was a tag inside from Brentwood Yarns, which I have found no information on. Oh well. It wove in like a thick and thin, resulting in some nice variation in this undulating twill.
I am sorry I didn't get more photos, but weaving a scarf all in one day, and staying up that late... Well, photography was not a priority! Lovely drape though.
This was the first time I did any weaving on my new-to-me Harrsiville loom. Delightful! She is an excellent little beastie. It will take me a few more warps to learn her likes and dislikes, and get familiar with the friction brake. I need to make a few things as well: a tray for the top to keep tools, some easy on/off wheels for when we go to classes. That sort of thing. But a wonderful first.