Fine Craft

When I turn to making practical, affordable art, I bring to it aesthetics and ideas I learned, not just from getting a degree in fine art, but from many years of working, studying, reading and teaching fine art.

 

I don't manufacture anything. As an artist, I'm constantly learning, trying out slightly different ways of doing things, trying new combinations, new colors, exploring materials and their possibilities. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, I can make many flowers, for example, with the same technique, and as in nature, there will be all kinds of variations, some big and some very slight.

 

On this page, and branching off from it, I will share with you my process and thinking about my fine craft. I will also have galleries of work. I apologize that I have so little on this page as I launch my new website, but this is a section that didn't exist on the other site, and so I'm starting from scratch here. For now, you can check out the store section to at least see examples of the kind of things I make.

 

How I Did It; Fold Formed & Fused Domed Pendant, Brass & Sterling

 

  • This pendant started out as flat sheet of brass from which I cut a circle shape.
  • I  softened the metal with a blowtorch (annealed).
  • With a hammer and dapper I forged the shape, encouraging the folding of the metal-a technique known not surprisingly as fold-forming.
  • I put it in an acid bath (pickle is the jewelers term) and then cleaned off more firescale with abrasives such as sandpaper. This is a very critical step, because I like to keep some of the color effects that result from the high temperatures of the blowtorch-what is sometimes called a heat or fire patina.
  • I took a piece of sterling silver, and used the blowtorch to heat it to the point where it melted onto the brass shape; sterling silver has a lower melting point than brass
  • Even though the brass held it's shape, I did some more forging to work-harden the metal after I fused the silver.
  • Every time you use fire, you have to clean firescale, so I repeated that step.
  • Once both metals had what I thought was a good patina, I sealed it with several coats of  Vintaj Patina Extender.
  • Finally-I made a bail (not shown in this photo) and put the finished pendant on a cord.