Saturday, 10 April 2010
Adventures in Metalsmithing
The copper cuff in the previous post was a great learning experience and the tools were calling, but I wanted to try something different, learn something new.
The hole at the top was either lucky or smart, whichever way you want to look at it. This piece of copper was the one I had out and cut the bangle from and then did my designs on and it was sitting on my anvil. I had also tried whacking it with a nail to see if it made a hole, and it did. When I cut the piece off for the leaf, I arranged the pattern around the hole, because I am basically lazy.
The filing took a little extra time and having done it, I would definitely decrease the number of points on a leaf if I do another one. Speaking of lazy. But I got all the sharp edges filed down. Then I annealed it with my butane torch and firebricks on the kitchen island, pickled it and scrubbed it clean with steel wool and had some fun putting lines on the leaf with wire and a scribe and then bent it in half lengthwise and hammered both sides. It needed annealed again and pickled, and then I opened it up and did some fancy folds and twists.
It didn't look bad without a patina, but the copper chain I have is antiqued, so I got out my bottle of Liver Of Sulphur. Because it's such incredibly stinky stuff, my usual method is to get my bottle of really hot water and plastic spoon ready, shake a pea-sized lump into my hand and dump it in the bottle as soon as I get outside. It sits on my barbeque on the outside porch while I dip into it and the cold water bath. Then I just let it sit there until the water turns clear and dump it in the bushes.
Got the leaf done, though, and the adventure continues.