Bronze Vase, hammer-formed and welded

by shelbyvision on November 1, 2010

This will not be a detailed step-by-step pictorial, but I did get enough pictures to give a hint as to how it was made. I did most of this during very hot weather, and couldn’t be bothered with taking a lot of pictures. I had just finished my large bronze urn, and wanted to try something else using the same techniques.

For this piece I started with a clay model to get the shape of the blank I needed to make the top of the vase. I covered the clay model with paper and masking tape, and then made a line where I wanted the seam, and cut it there. The first picture shows the blank starting to get shaped. I’m using a raised seam for this, which complicated things quite a bit, since I had to bend the edge before bending the shape. The bent edge made it very hard to bend the shape, and bending the shape tended to unbend the edge. The second pictures shows it mostly bent to shape, and the third picture shows the welding process started.

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The next picture shows it all welded and pickled. that’s the last picture I got of the process. This top of the vase required hours of hammering to change the angles into graceful curves, using the stake shown in the next picture.

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The bottom half was basically a raised bowl, formed in the conventional manner. The bronze is very hard, though, so it takes twice as many steps as it would with brass or copper or silver. The top part was placed on the bottom part after much adjusting to get a good match-up, and then welded all the way around. The last two pictures show the finished piece.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nayna Shriyan November 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Have not done any raising in a while, but this piece really has gotten me thinking of starting work again 🙂 It is really brilliant.

shelbyvision November 2, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Thanks Bent.
Yes, it does weld nicely. It gives me a whole new set of design possibilities.
Thanks Barb.
It’s just a simple liver of sulfur patina (that’s all I ever use), had to dip it several times.

Barb November 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

Beautiful! That vasebmade me finally suscribe to the feed! Love the vase and the patina came out perfect!

Bentiron November 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Back in the Late Bronze Age when I was doing a fair amount of casting I loved working with silicon bronze because it poured so easy and it welded up so nice if you did happen to get some pits or if a part of it didn’t fill out it easy to repair. Nice looking jug!

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