Fold Forming and Using A Hydraulic Press

by laurie jane kern on November 15, 2009

I spent yesterday in Pasadena at Farrin O’Connor taking a class on Fold Forming and using a hydraulic press. The class was taught by Carl and you can see his work here to get an idea of what we were making.

I decided that my piece would use copper for the majority of the piece that way it would look ancient – that and the fact that the amount of silver sheet to make the piece would cost a lot if anything went wrong!

We started off texturing our sheets, then annealing them. Here are mine with a pit of flame patina.

After the annealing we learned to make a T-Fold you do this by folding the larger sheet over a wood dowel and after removing the down, then flattening the pocket and fold the long leaves back on themselves.

We then took a small strip of patterned metal and slid it into the T-Pocket, this is so after the hyro-press, the fold will open up and reveal the other material. Here is the piece just before I put it in to the press.

I chose a rectangular die that had a slight curve to each side of the square. Because of the fold and the inner strip, we had to press the item 3 times, with another round of  annealing before the final press. This is the result. I also pressed a single sheet for the backing. See how with the deforming, the pressure spreads open the gap and pushed out the inserted piece.

I still have to assemble the halves using some micro-bolts and add a bale.  Overall it reminds me of an ancient medallion of office from either China or Japan – where they had some very odd ones.

And here is my finished piece @4:15 pm Sunday night – this entire piece was made without any solder too.

Now, for that bit of silver wire at the top between the micro-bolts for the bale… I figured if this is MY found object.. someone might have found it before me. With a missing bolt they might have used a small twist of wire to hold the top together. So that is what I did. (I actually had a problem with a bolt and it sheared off). For the bale, I stressed some silver tubing then took some wire and balled the ends and hammered them flat and also hammered various parts of the wire too. I then drilled the holes in the flanges and twisted the wires. I bent the wires around the tubing and just pinched the wires on the underside thus with the flanged edges of the tub, the wires won’t come off.

I am now going to relax and watch Iron Chef. I just can’t figure out why this show is about cooking. Wouldn’t a show named Iron Chef be about some one who makes Iron????

laurie jane kern

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerry Palumbo November 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I love the bail. I really think that it compliements the piece. Copper is my favorite metal to work with and I like the look of it with the silver. I am interested in foldforming as a technique, and as my husband owns a large scale fab shop, I’d love to play with his big equipment. (oops…that didn’t come out the way I meant it) Very nice.

Jerry Fowler November 16, 2009 at 9:06 am

That is an visually interesting piece. The silver really pops out. Nice work.

Wendy Edsall-Kerwin November 16, 2009 at 8:05 am

I like the use of the bolts to fasten the pieces together.

Boot~C November 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm

fabulous, really nice, the silver/copper combo

Wendy Edsall-Kerwin November 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I love the way the piece came out in the last photo! It’s really cool the way the under piece sneaks out of the copper. The textures are great in this piece.

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