Learning Curve

by laurie jane kern on July 24, 2010

Back in May/June when I had a session with Deb we discussed my next learning task – curves. I admit that I still have a way to go with getting the sides of my vessels symmetrical but one can’t just make vessels with straight sides for-ever. I think that in the OLD days, an apprentice would and probably not be allowed to move onto another skill until this was mastered but hey, I am not an apprentice nor living in the “OLD Days”.

Even though Deb explained it to me and I have the big black silversmithing book by Finegold & Seitz, reading is not the same as doing.

So today I did – I tried it and probably made it more difficult for myself than it should have been.

I started with a 3″ diameter disk of 22 gauge copper. Deb told me to make a drawing so I could cut a template to gauge where to start the curve and to help make my walls symmetrical. Did I ? – Nooooooo, of course not as this girl wants to see what she can do on her own!

I sunk the copper first, then scribed and flattened the base. I then raised the walls. I marked where the curve was to begin and started to move the metal inward.  I was almost there and was trying to get the metal to thicken as I was brining the wall in and I realized that I was stretching and thinning the copper.

I stopped! I was afraid I had ruined it. I took a break and came back with a critical eye. Was it a loss (no) ? Could it be saved (yes)?

I decided that I could trim off the area that had thinned and still have some of the curve with a very small straight wall above it.   I scribed the line, cut off the thin and cracked edge; then onto filing and sanding the rim.  I then threw it into the vibratory tumbler for an hour and it was done.

What did I learn:
1) start bigger, Deb has said that working on a small scale was hard – now I believe her;
2) Use a heavier gauge so if the metal does thin it is not as critical;
3) Make that drawing and template!

So here is a final picture and of course there are more in-process pictures over at kernology. [No pictures of the problems, if I don’t have them I can deny it ever happend ;=)))]

Skewed Bowl with Alien

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie Jane Kern July 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm

You are listing!
As for the David Huang reference – I can hope

Bentiron July 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

Hey ! Is that lop sided or am I having trouble sitting up straight again? Gosh, I envy your advancement in skill, but as they say, and who are they you may ask, well you know, they’re the ones behind every rock and tree, you just can’t get better without practice. Nice work, even if it is small. Pretty soon you’ll be showing your work along side the likes of David Huang.;0)

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