Today, I AM a Metalsmith!!!

by laurie jane kern on December 28, 2009

Yesterday afternoon I finished my bowl and for the first time, I actually felt like  a metalsmith, classification – Copper.  I have not taken the risk of silver YET.

Saturday I was able to finish 2 rounds of hammering and annealing. I did find that I did not get as tired but damn, that 16 gauge is hard to work with so after the second anneal, I was rather proud of myself as it really was looking like a bowl at this point but I left it in the pickel pot and went upstairs to veg with a good murder mystery DVD.

Sunday morning I took the bowl out of the pickel, cleaned it up and was able to get a single trip around the bowl done before noon but then stopped as I had company coming. I went back to the hammering at about 5-ish, went around the bowl 2 more times and then decided I should stop – the shape was good.

Now during all of this, I had curved the extra point outward and down so it did not interfere with the hammering or my hand.  On this last round I had to flatten it out as it was preventing me from getting a curve on the side where the point was jutting out. It was then onto planishing and it being only 6pm, I decided to finish.

Small hammer tap’s, around and around I went slowly working my way from the center bottom moving outwards and upwards to the rim. Then I got to the point – literally and I could not bend it in a curve outward and down.

I’m not implying that it was physical NOT – I was capable of doing .

It was an emotional thing.

Here was this bowl with a point sticking up in the air and then I just knew it had to be curved over to the inside. I not only had to curve it over inward, it’s shape, across it’s base, had to be curved to follow the imaginary rim as well.

I resisted re-annealing the point and luckily since I had not done any hammering on it since I started this last round, I found that I could use my forging hammer and get a curve into it. Then I placed the point over the horn of my anvil and gently beat it down and over.

And it sang it’s name to me – Teardrop, and I knew I was a metalsmith at that point. It was at 7:30 pm on December 27, 2009.

I went upstairs to my office. I air planished a flat on the bottom and with 2 files and gently de-burred the rim inside and out. I rounded ever so slightly the point of the tear.

I was done.

I still have to stamp my name on the bottom and yes, this is not the most professional pictures but here it is.

BTW, I now want to make more of them!

laurie jane kern

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen Hill January 6, 2010 at 9:59 am

Wow Laurie, that’s gorgeous!!!

Diane January 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm

This is absolutely beautiful. Nice job!

Marc Zyla December 30, 2009 at 11:42 pm

The bowl is beautiful. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for quite a while. Can’t figure out what class to take; any suggestions?

“M”

Aulë December 29, 2009 at 8:47 am

Museum quality!

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