‘Creative Metal Forming’ Author Cynthia Eid to Speak at Vendor Day

by Metalwerx on October 1, 2013

What can you do with a hammer, a stake, and a 256 page, full-color book with lots of ideas? Plenty of “Creative Metal Forming”—the title of the long-awaited collaboration between consummate metalsmiths Cynthia Eid and Betty Helen Longhi.

Creative Metal Forming Book

Available at Vendor Day, Oct. 20!

Eager followers of the popular artists/teachers will soon be able to crack open the book, available this month from Tim McCreight’s Brynmorgen Press. An even luckier few will have the chance to get an autographed copy directly from Cindy–as she is known to her friends and students– at Metalwerx’ Vendor Day, Oct. 20, 10 am to 4 pm at the Armenian Cultural Center, 47 Nichols street, Watertown, Mass.

Cythia Eid Bio Shot

Cynthia Eid

Cindy will present an illustrated talk at Vendor Day with video demonstrations from the book, so viewers can get ideas of what to do with the exercises. Cindy also will be at the Allcraft Jewelry supply booth, selling the book, the anticlastic stakes designed by the authors,  the LH hammers, designed by  Longhi,  and the Ultimate Spiculum Hammer, designed by Eid and Longhi, manufactured by Fretz Tools, and sold exclusively through Allcraft.

It’s been a nine-year journey since the two artists met in an elevator at a SNAG conference, when each spotted the other’s nametag. The idea for the book was born soon after, but the road to publication was far more involved than for a typical how-to book. Cindy said she and Betty Helen aimed for a “meticulously detailed” guide that emphasizes “possibilities, as opposed to projects.”

Cythia Eid Earrings Betty Helen Longhi Earrings

Top, anticlastic ‘Night Lumenars’ earrings by Cynthia Eid; bottom, Anticlastic, foldformed earrings by Betty Helen Longhi

The book covers almost every aspect of metal forming, including synclastic forming, anticlastic raising, spiculums, multi-shells (lentiforms, spheres, and bi-shells), variations on foldforming, and raising and planishing. At the end of each chapter is a “Beyond the Exercises” section to inspire ideas on what one can do with the forms: earrings, sculpture, covered bowls with lids, pitcher handles, and more.

Samples from Creative Metal Forming

Samples from ‘Creative Metal Forming.’ Top, synclastic spiral; bottom, synclast with anticlast and torquing.

“Creative Metal Forming” features a foreword by the anticlastic raising master Michael Good, and an historical perspective/homage to Heikki Seppa,  the Finland-born American artist and author of the classic, “Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths.” Seppa is known for his ground-breaking exploration of shellforming, a term from structural engineers—shell structures are curved, so that they are both light and strong. “Sheet metal forming is shell forming,” Cindy said, but the book goes beyond that to cover all ways to form sheet metal with hammers.

Samples from Creative Metal Forming

From ‘Creative Metal Forming.’ Free-form open-seam spiculum demonstrated by Nancy Linkin.

Another chapter, titled “Transitions,” describes what happens when you form combinations, for example, with two synclasts, or anticlast and synclast, giving the piece a unique elegance. “That’s where it becomes really interesting. It’s where things happen,” Cindy said. Just as interesting to this writer is the chapter devoted to forming a double helix, and instructions on how to properly hold a hammer, use a dapping block, make patterns, modify tools, and refine and finish newly sculpted projects.

Samples from Creative Metal Forming

From ‘Creative Metal Forming.’ Top left, Hyberbolic Paraboloid Extension (HPX); right, Double Helix (Hyperbolic Continuum), both by Michael Good, patinas by Carlton Leavitt. Bottom left: synclasted rectangle.

Cindy’s excitement is palpable as she mentions the book is “almost here.” A truck loaded with books is currently traversing the country and headed to the Brynmorgen Press in Brunswick, Maine. “You’ll be able to order it from all the jewelry tool companies such as Allcraft, Otto Frei, Rio Grande, and places that sell books, like Amazon,” Cindy said. “But the only way to get an inscribed copy is at Vendor Day, or to buy one from an author.” A bargain at $45, the book lies flat when open and is easily accessible at the bench or propped next to a vise.

Samples from Creative Metal Forming

From ‘Creative Metal Forming.’ Top, synclast to anticlast transition– axial curve reverses; bottom, straight spiculum with additional forming.

Cynthia Eid and Betty Helen Longhi are donating a copy of the book and their newest anticlastic stake as part of Metalwerx’s scholarship fundraiser being held at Vendor Day.  This fundraiser is a new facet to the highly anticipated annual event.  It will be in the form of a silent auction that showcases tools, stones, and other items contributed by participating vendors. Metalwerx periodically offers scholarships made possible by community member donations that honor a committed student with financial assistance toward any workshop or weekly course at the school.

Anticlastic Forming Stake

The newest Eid/Longhi Anticlastic Stake is the Mini, which is 3/8″ thick.

More than two dozen providers are participating in the 9th annual Vendor Day, offering metalsmithing tools, precious and semi-precious stones, services and other supplies. Other topics in the day-long lecture series are listed on Metalwerx’s website. A $6 contribution gets you in the door. Save $1 off admission with the Vendor Day postcard.

by Yleana Martinez


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