Experimenting With New Forms, Part 1

by shelbyvision on March 30, 2009

Whenever I peel an orange or tangerine, I always try to get it all in one piece. It ends up as a graceful s-shaped curvy thing. then I try to put the peel back into its original form, always hoping it could look good enough to fool someone. 😉 Well, something I was working on the other day made me want to try making an orange peel out of brass. It turned out to be a little more complicated than I first thought; Just guessing at the shape doesn’t work. I ended up using a styrofoam ball, covering it with masking tape, then drawing and cutting through the tape with a knife to get the template. (See the first picture.) Hammering from the inside on wood forms the metal and also creates an almost orangepeel-like texture on the outside. It turned out to be a kind of catch-22 situation: once the shape is mostly formed, there’s no way to get a stake inside it to finish it. I’m thinking maybe if I could anneal it, and the fill it with pitch, I could then hammer it into a more refined shape. I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort, though for something as uninteresting as an orange. But, on the other hand, if I found out it works, I could try the technique on something more interesting. I have this idea for a horse, but I’m going to have to get there in stages, one step at a time. I’m also thinking about using a similar technique to make solid vessels, overlapping the layers just enough to solder them together. then there’s also the possibility of a larger sphere, like the orange, but instead of just a simple spiral, get really crazy with it, putting lots of interesting shapes into the cut. The possibilities are endless.
cutout and templateformingformingformingorange

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

shelbyvision April 1, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Thanks, Jason. Interesting idea.

jason March 31, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Absolutely brilliant! You could fabricate the insides of the orange (or any hidden treasure, really), and just solder the bottom portion around it. It would look like one of your real oranges half peeled.

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