Monday, 9 December 2013

Back to Base-ics: Forging Forward

I'm going to start this post with a rather dirty word...


Yes, that's right, the learner metal-workers grubby little friend. Over the years I have developed quite a soft spot for copper (don't worry silver, you're still my number one!). It is cheap and cheerful, soft and pliable and reveals all manner of beautiful colours when heated. Lovely. However, we're not entirely bosom pals because it also has a nasty habit - extreme mucky-ness.

For someone who has always loved arty crafty pursuits, I have a little secret... I dislike getting my hands dirty!

Personal issues aside, copper has been fantastic for experimenting techniques in class. This term that meant getting to grips with the ancient art of forging. I was pretty excited about learning something with such a long established practice. It also meant getting to do a lot of hammering, great for releasing the build up of those day to day tensions.

Our mission was to use a single thick piece of copper wire and create a fibula brooch. We all set to work using the rolling mill to taper out the brooch end and a good old hammer and stake combo to stretch out the front of the piece, annealing like crazy in between when the work hardened. It was quite a slow process but ultimately a rewarding one, like much metal working. I've kept my brooch fairly rustic and haven't polished the metal. Now all I need is to find a good sealant (any recommendations?) to avoid copper staining and a nice chunky knit to set it off!

What do you think of my Viking-vogue?

Happy advent to any advent types!

1 comment:

  1. I love that brooch, it's just beautiful, and I love your description of how it was made as well. I'm a little like you, have a slightly uneasy relationship with copper, after working so much with silver, but it's a fascinating metal and the finished results above speak for themselves. No clues on the sealant from me, I'm afraid, although I've wondered the same thing...