Making the Bronze Urn

by shelbyvision on August 30, 2010

I posted the pictures of the finished piece a few weeks ago, in my previous post, Hammer-formed Bronze Urn, and now I’ll try to show a little about how I made it.
I’ll start with the bottom bowl-shaped part of the urn. It started out as a 13″ disc. The bronze is pretty hard, so it took many stages of raising and annealing to get it to the final shape. The first two pictures are just a couple of those many stages. In the third picture it’s reached its desired shape, and the top has been scalloped by sawing and grinding. It ended up about 9″ in diameter and 5.5″ tall.

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Next, the stand, which starts out with three flat cutouts as seen in the first picture below. The next picture show the preliminary bending and shaping, and then the seam of the tube or “spiculum” closed up and silver-soldered. Then all three of them completely shaped and silver-soldered. The last picture shows two of the three pieces being silver-soldered together.

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Next is the top part of the urn. In the first picture the disc has been crimped around the perimeter, ready to be hammered into a slight bowl shape. the center hole, made with a hole-saw, is 1″ in diameter. I believe the shape I’m going for here is a called semi-torus, or maybe semi-toroid. The hole in the center is stretched and extended with the setup shown in the second picture. The piece is setting on a 4″ pvc pipe fitting. on top is a steel bracelet mandrel which is hollow, so there’s a block of wood on top, so it can be hammered. Like the bottom of the urn, this also took several stages of hammering and annealing. The third picture shows the top all formed and sitting on the bottom part, ready for welding. The fourth picture shows the welding all done.

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Finally, the lid. The first picture shows the first stage. I used a piece if 2″ pipe, turned on the lathe and polished, for a stake, and hammered the both center and the outside. the next picture shows a second, larger piece of pipe, the inside turned to match the taper and diameter of the mouth of the urn. I didn’t get a picture of the process, but the lid piece was put on the smaller pipe, the larger one put on top, with a block on top of it, and hammered with the sledge hammer.

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Then the finished piece. See more pictures of the finished piece here.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sandra Graves September 7, 2010 at 4:44 am

This is fabulous. I’ve been watching your work for a while now and you just get better and better. Congratulations on a sweet piece!

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