Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hammer Time

I do not enjoy hammering.  It makes me think of those arduous days welding in a tight spot, flailing away with my chipping hammer at some stubborn flux that wouldn't come free, but I couldn't get a grinder in there, and it probably was one of those welds that was going to be x-rayed so I couldn't just leave it.... 
But I wasn't welding this week I was "Forming", and I did really like the end products, just not all the hammering it took to get there!  When I use the skills I learned this week it will be in moderate doses, not a solid week at a time.

So, my biggest achievement was my chasing project, pictured above.  I'm a little surprised that I actually finished it.  Yay!  My next one will be a bit less involved.  I'm planning to use it as a box top on a leather box that I will make someday.  We also made synclastic (picture a curved shape that could hold water) and anticlastic (a curved shape that could not hold water) bangles and rings.  The anticlastic shape is more appealing to me, the synclastic too plain, although one of my classmates did a pierced design in hers and it is awesome.  The most sophisticated looking pieces we made were forged bangles, one in copper and one in silver.  Very chic looking if you're a bangle type of person.  And lastly we spent an entire day fold forming.  Lots of interesting shapes possible there, and, although everything we did was in copper and was just unfinished samples, Jeffrey Ellis showed us some finished pieces in silver that looked quite elegant.

Other than the one forged bangle, everything we made this week was copper.  With the application of heat we achieved some very exciting colour effects.  This makes me even more determined to find an ideal protective coating for these to prevent oxidation.  Several have been recommended over the last few weeks with varying levels of satisfaction: beeswax, floor wax, shoe polish, turtle car wax, or a spray on lacquer of some sort.  I had some gorgeous colours show up on my fold formed pieces, as well as on my chasing project that I didn't want to lose, so I purchased some turtle car wax, and have applied it to almost everything.  It didn't alter the oranges, red and pinks I'd achieved, in fact making the pinks even richer, but it did make the gorgeous blues on my chasing project vanish, boohoo.  Now I'll just have to assess the durability.  I've put it on my anticlastic ring that I intend to wear, so that should give me a decent idea if it will last.

Outside of school, the world is slowly melting in places.  The turkeys are venturing onto the bare patches of lawn to look for victuals, and they're talking about it too, in the mornings especially, sounding like something that's strangling.  Last weekend I took a little road trip to find the cottage where our family used to visit my grandparents in the summers when we were children.  It's still there, and looks much the same.  It's oddly reassuring that it hasn't been replaced by a mega-mansion, though why that should matter to me now I'm not sure.  I noticed the property next door is for sale, but couldn't find the listing online.  Just curious to know how the market value of a property that is mostly unchanged for the last 50 (?) + years has no doubt skyrocketed in this: The Muskoka Region.

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