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

1 comment:

ShinyNewThing said...

Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment on my blog. hee hee, like the part about your knitting machine living in your closet. Once you know what your machine is, have a Google and you will find tons of information online including old manuals etc. There are also some active Yahoo and Ravelry machine knitting groups where you can ask for help and advice.

I do like my knitting machines as I am a gadget girl and they are more efficient for stocking stitch garments. However, it is noisier and more solitary than handknitting, and definitely not portable.