Saturday, February 24, 2007

Project 2: take two

I really wanted to work on the ring today, unfortunately we had a substitute teacher who really didn't see my vision. As I showed her the project I was working on, she continuously made comments on how I should have done this or that first, and that this or that wouldn't work. I don't mean to say she was negative, but she clearly couldn't grasp the design. So instead of confusing myself and the substitute, I decided to start on something else and save the ring for my instructor who can envision the finished ring as I do.

I encouraged the sub to go through my sketches, and we chose this picture frame pendant. I initially wanted to make this pendant with tubes and rivets so as to have a space in between to change out a small photo. This version, however, will be a picture permanent in the frame, sandwiched between two pieces of copper, with a piece of thin plastic over the top of the picture.

I plan to search for a picture to include in this frame tomorrow. I am thinking of an impressionistic floral painting or something like that.

The side view... since this project needed to be formed and textured, I formed the sides slightly outward and the corners more so. The rivets will come into play once I find an appropriate image to incorporate. As it stands right now, I plan to rivet only the center of the two sides and the bottom. I initially wanted to rivet through the bail as well, but I formed the tip into a leaf and I realize that a rivet will just destroy the look of it.

So, this is what I did today in class. Next week I hope to finish this pendant and my ring that can't be done....yeah, we'll see.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Project 2: work in progress

I decided on a design for a ring with free moving petals riveted to the shank. The blank for the shank was sawed out of 18 gauge silver sheet. The petals were sawed out of 20 gauge, drilled and formed slightly, and the wire that will connect the two is 14 gauge. The petals will each be textured differently.

I made seven petals, although I may just use five since height may become an issue. The texturing will thin them slightly, so I will just have to see how it goes.

The shank is soldered closed and the wire will be soldered to the shank before the final riveting.

So this is as far as I got today. I like the idea of taking pictures in different stages of the process, I wish I had done this with the ufo and the P.
I hope to sand the seam to invisible, and finish the shank to a high shine, as well as one petal, and the rivet. The rest of the petals will all have a feel and look all their own.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Project 2: surfaces, cold connections, basic forming

Class today was just jampacked with a ton of information, and demonstrations.

Topics covered were:
Annealing sheet and wire, quenching and pickling, and the differences between base metals (bronze, copper, and brass), and gold and silver.
Texturing, using all manner of steel hammers and stamps. A very large catagory.
Forming, using dapping blocks, wood, steel mandrels, anvils...the list goes on.
Riveting with wire and tube.
Tube cutting.

I was originally faced with the fact that I was going to have to miss this class. When I enrolled, I knew that Julie would be gone this weekend, and I would have to watch the shop, but being the doll that she is, she would hear nothing of it. She volunteered mom to open up for the art classes, and await my arrival, telling customers that I would be along at about 1pm. This was the first class that I didn't stay in the workshop hours after class was over.

Class went over schedule today, we were let loose at just after 12:30 as opposed to the usual 12:15.
I wanted to skip out early, because my mom was watching the shop, but I couldn't bring myself to. It turned out that this was a crucial class that could not be missed. I ran to my car when I got out, and sped all the way to work. Thankfully for mom and I, today was not so busy as saturday's usually are...not thankfully for the shop, tho. Things seemed to be fine when I arrived at work, everything was okay.

So I am left to ponder my next assignment: Project 2.
I must have a detailed sketch by next saturday, and this project will take us the next three weeks to complete.

Here is the overview of what is expected, taken from my instructor Sandra's directions.

"Project 2: surfaces, cold connections, basic forming
This project will require the sheet metal of your choice, wire, appropriate saw blades and finishing materials, and layout materials.
Give the metal some dimension by forming over a mandrel or stake, or by dapping. Texture the metal by either hammering or stamping. The surface treatment should be considered an integral aspect of the overall design. In addition, projects must utilize rivets or other wire connections as decorative or structural elements.
There is a historical design convention of using repeating elements. As a starting point for this assignment, I suggest using the idea of pairs or multiples: in other words, motifs or elements that have some visual or conceptual relationship to each other. They could be abstract or representational. The overall format could be similar forms repeated with slight variations, or pairs, or the same element repeated several times.
Project due: March 10th"

So, I will be sketching some designs this week until I come up with something appropriate that I can actually execute.
My original thought was to somehow make a human form using rivets as the joints, but as I thought further on this subject, I think it may be too complex for my beginning class. I will attack this at some point, but for right now, I will just have to take some inspiration from the things around me to gather ideas. I am keeping my eyes wide open.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

First assignment, piercing...two dimensional design

I am really loving my metals class. Our first project was to make a two dimensional piercing in the metal of our choice. This assignment started last Saturday (1/27), and concluded this Saturday (2/03). I chose a simple framed ufo design. I used 18 gauge sterling silver sheet. I plan on soldering a bail to the back, I didn't want to just cut a hole for a jumpring. The polish is high, 1200grit, you probably can't see that from the photo, but I spent a lot of time on the finishing of this piece, and it will most likely be a gift once it is completed. I am really not a ufo type person, but I liked the design and it was simple. I got some great practice with the saw and drill press on this one. This piece is 1 inch square of silver sheet.

Since I made such a simple first design, I had time to make another. This is a copper dog tag for my favorite pet, Perry...we call him P. Another very simple design, but this one was made especially for P with love. I had planned to saw out the circle, but discovered that I had access to some cool hand tools like the circle punches. This tag was punched out before piercing. A 1" circle punch on 18 gauge copper sheet...brute force was key in the execution! It took quite a few precice blows with the hammer to finally get the hole punched out, and some more brute force to get the 1" punch out of the steel holder.
I think Perry will really like it, in fact, I almost wish I didn't waste so much time in the finishing, because I know after an hour of putting it on his collar it will look nothing like this. I have to wait until next week to give it to him, because he will surely destroy it, and since it is part of my assignment, I want it to be prestine for the instructor to judge next week...then P can have his way with it. This piece is a 1 inch circle of copper. I struggled with the lopsided P, but as I worked it, I grew fond of the cartoonish lettering.

I initially cut a square out of my copper sheet to saw the circle for Perry's tag out of, this was before I knew I could punch it out. Needless to say, I had a lot of waste. I decided to do something with the wasted copper. A circle in a square that was not centered. I decided to cut points as in sunrays into the scrap. I think this may end up being layered somehow into some other design with another metal underneath...I really don't know what to do with this, but I am sure it will end up being something or other. It is shown with the piece that was punched out. This piece is approximately 1 1/2 inches square...although its not square anymore.