We now return to our regularly scheduled program

by laurie jane kern on March 20, 2011

When we last saw our Adventurous Silversmith........... On March 19, I had a class with Deb and because I was still having some problems with stretching and thinning of the metal this session was to focus on resolving what ever bad habit was causing this and why.  To be honest we thought we had figure it out during the session in January and yet I was still thinning the walls of my pieces.  A few days before this session, I took some of my stakes and placed them in their respective holders and had my husband take pictures of me, at the stake, with a hammer.  After we had taken some 2 dozen pictures, I sent them off to Deb to look at. Why? This was to see if I was striking and my arm/body was in the the correct position.   When I am at Deb's I use my stakes but I am working at her tables with her stake holders. At home, my tables are at a higher height, so I stand on a box hoping to achieve the correct position. At Deb's she commented that she did not think it was my setup/position at home, though it could use a slight adjustment. But Deb thought she knew what the problem was as we had almost exhausted every other reason. What was the conclusion? I am over working the metal. I am striking it too much during each course and round of raising.   After much discussion and analysis, we then had me start a new piece doing what we called "SPEED RAISING" to prove the theory.  And, it did.   With out a lot of detail - let's just say it is amazing how fast you can raise a vessel with so few blows. I came home with 2 assignments - finish the speed raising and with another piece of copper do a similar exercise with sinking.   My next class was to be on March 5th as I was to bring my homework back then. We all know what happened next, and that March 5th class was canceled. And here we are.  I can not believe that I have not picked up a hammer or done any metal work in over 6 weeks. Today I am straightening up my office and studio and hopefully sometime this week, I hope I can get reacquainted with my hammer, if they will even talk to me.
laurie jane kern

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