Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Foldforming ....

Two days of foldforming and sharing ideas with a friend were priceless ... I don't know how she feels this morning, but my right arm is sore. Although I have to admit it was sore before the work began from pruning trees and throwing the ball for Sarah, my very active dog.

I had earlier posts last year on foldforming, showed some of our projects and mentioned the master of this art, Charles Lewton-Brain. See his book, "Foldforming", if you are interested in trying it.

We both worked on making a copper cuff on the first day. We cut the metal, ran it through the rolling mill, and then used a device I have that bends metal. It's called a "brake" and looks like this. I had never used it for foldforming before, but it sure worked nicely.

We bent the copper on both long edges of the cuff about 1/4" and hammered these edges flat. Sorry I did not take photos along the way, but you can see the folds on my cuff in the photo below. I decided it needed something else, so I folded it down the middle, hammered it flat, textured that folded edge a bit, and then annealed and pried open the fold. That is the HARD part! An old stainless steel kitchen knife works the best, but you also need physical strength, so whatever you have around you that helps open this fold .... Annealing many times helps. My cuff is not finished, but I already like it. The color showing is from the annealing process and from the brass brush. It's already pretty awesome!

On our second day my friend decided to make a ring using the same technique as the cuff. She used the rolling mill for texture and then bent and hammered the two edges. The hardest part was cutting the ring to size and filing the two edges so they met perfectly. After that was done, the seam was soldered. Here's the ring after that process. It needs finishing and then patina application. Doesn't it look great?!!

I wanted to try a new foldforming project that I had seen in the book, "Mixed Media Mania" by Kim St. Jean. I cut a piece of copper 1-1/2" x 3" and folded it in half lengthwise. After annealing this piece, I started striking the folded edge with a bordering hammer working from the middle down to the end and turning the piece over and repeating the process. Each time I finished this process which took less than a minute, the piece was annealed. How many times did I do this? I lost count, but I continued until the piece curved and the two ends were 1/2" of each other. Wow, how impressive! It's already a piece of art! How about a pair of earrings made this way?

Here's the photo of the piece in the book, along with my unfinished project. More to come .....

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