Posts tagged ‘Hollow Forms’

Still Life (or the evil cone – RAW52.9)

I really like hollow geometric shapes and I’m trying to learn how to render them in metal. I’ve been wanting to make cone shapes for a while, so here I am this week, practicing how to make a cone. A pointy one. Not a cone with the top cut off  – I think that’s called a frustum (what an ugly word!)

Anyway, a real pointy cone. I had no problem with the geometry, and calculating the area to be cut out of the sheet was a snap. I started making it out of 20ga sheet (0.8mm), but soon discovered there was no way on earth I was going to be able to bend that thing into shape, so I switched to 22ga (0.64mm). Well that wasn’t so easy either. I was reluctant to use any thinner sheet because I wanted the shape to hold up when worn as a ring. So I kept going with it. I broke 2 pliers but kept at it until I got some kind of conish shape. I didn’t know what I was doing. Zero. I think I just got lucky and ended up with the shape.

Ring a Week #9

I made the sphere and cylinder to go with my cone (actually so I can hide all the imperfections) and decided to call the ring “Still Life” because it reminded me of a charcoal drawing. The imperfections are barely visible!

Ring a Week #9I think it turned out pretty good! At first, I had a scratchy finish on it with no oxidation, but I could not take a decent picture of the ring, so I oxidized it and finished with a brass brush and I like it better this way.

Ring a Week #9It looks fantastic on the finger. I think I’m keeping this one for me.

  • I still don’t know how to make a proper pointy cone
  • metal is really hard to bend with precision (duh!)
  • I’m not turned off by hollow forms yet – so I’ll keep learning about them

See you next week…


Bubbles (RAW52.7)

This week, I decided to make another stacked ring. I’m exploring simple hollow forms and I learned that bubbles (or spheres) are not as easy to make as they look. But I love the process of starting out with a flat disc of metal, then slowly seeing it take shape. I also wanted the ring to look funny.

Ring a Week #7

I decided to texture the metal with a planishing hammer to give it more of a bubble look.

As far as fabrication, the hardest to make was the base bubble (22mm), then they got easier as they got smaller. The smallest (6mm) was also hard to make because it kept slipping out of my fingers. Soldering was definitely a challenge (and I think I’m pretty good at it) – I used a lot of “white-out” to prevent the solder from running after each consecutive step.

Ring a Week #7

It took a lot longer than expected (doesn’t everything!), and to prevent myself from going crazy, I made the ring over several days.

By far the hardest step was soldering the ring shank after all the bubbles, and this is where I think I made a mistake. I should have soldered it on to the base bubble as a first step. Instead, by the time I had all the bubbles on, I had a hard time getting the “clump” to the right temperature, for even the easy solder to flow. But it finally did!

Ring a Week #7

I’m also wondering, design wise, whether I should have had a half bubble on the base. I’m undecided. Maybe I’ll just cut it and see how it looks.  Right now, the ring is sitting in an airtight container with a bunch of tobacco, vinegar and ammonia to see if I can get the copper to patina to a blue-green. I’ll find out in a couple of days.

What I learned this week:

  • Things don’t always end up looking the way you imagined or sketched them
  • To make a good half sphere, use smaller and smaller punches (in the same doming hole). That will get the sides to close in more so you can move to the next size down
  • Praying to the soldering gods (plus a lot of white-out) really helps
  • The more I work with copper, the more I like it

I think I will be laying off the stacked rings for a little while, but I’ll keep playing with the hollow forms.

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