In Progress: Chains, Pots, & Arches

Check out how the "Arches" wall piece is coming along ©2014 WTEK

Check out how the “Arches” wall piece is coming along ©2014 WTEK

Some nickel pieces to go inside the "arches"

Some nickel pieces to go inside the “arches”

Finally, an in process post! I’ve been working concurrently on the two big projects that I’m in the middle of right now. That way when I get bored with one, I can switch to the other. That’s much preferable to wondering off out of the studio because I’m just sick of filing or planishing or whatever. It also helps me think about the next step in each piece while working on the other one. Kind of frees up the old problem solving area of my brain.

Upside down view of what may or may not be a teapot ©2014 WTEK

Upside down view of what may or may not be a teapot ©2014 WTEK

I also decided to try a chain from the West African Jewelers book I got for my bday. It’s a non-solder, nice thick chain that I thought would be fun. I love the way it came out (though it needs to be longer!) even though my fingers aren’t used to wire work anymore. You can also donate tools, silver, and/or money to the West African Jewelers. If you think our economy’s bad, think about how bad it is when you’re surrounded by the Ebola situation. It’s not just worrying about your life, you also need to worry about your livelihood.

My chain attempt ©2014 WTEK This was done in 18g brass

My chain attempt ©2014 WTEK This was done in 18g brass

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Back to the Studio

The sketchy sketch design for my new wall piece I'm working on. ©2013 WTEK

Remember this?! =>The sketchy sketch design for my new wall piece I’m working on. ©2013 WTEK

After having a frenzied couple of weeks where I had almost no studio time, I’m finally able to get back into the studio this week. I’m not complaining because I was doing events and working, but it will feel good to be moving metal again.

I’m ready to start cutting the teapot/vessel that I’ve been working on. After that I’ll have to make the decision of whether or not to teapot. I’m also ready to start forming the big “U” shapes for the large wall piece I started last year (that’s right, LAST year.) Then I’ll just need to make the small nickel parts and put it all together.

The nickel parts for the "U" wall piece ©2014 WTEK

The bigger nickel parts for the “U” wall piece ©2014 WTEK

I’m also itching to get to work on a medium sized wall piece that has been in my mind for months. I don’t want to push off finishing what I’ve got started right now, but I know that this is one I can finish fairly quickly. I’m ready to do it, but I have to be disciplined and finish something else first.

Oh, and I have to get to work on my new booth set-up too. I’ll be posting images of that once it gets worked out. So you can look forward to more in-process posts of displays AND new work. Plus I’ll try to get some more artist interviews up soon.

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Carnyx – an Ancient Celtic Horn

Metalwork doesn’t confine itself to things like jewelry or hollowware. No, pretty much anything can be made out of metal. I often forget about musical instruments and the metal techniques that go into making them. It’s been a tradition since ancient times.

Gundestrup Cauldron Plate E (photo courtesy of On the right are three Carnyx players depicted during battle.

It just so happens that some of my favorite ancient metalworkers, the Celts, had a particular type of bronze horn called a Carnyx. How did I find out about it? My husband mysteriously left a Yahoo search for it up and I stumbled across it after he went away.

It immediately caught my eye because the bell is shaped like an animal’s head. Most of those found have depicted boars, but there was also a serpent like creature found in the Tintignac hoard in France. Many of them even had moveable tongues and lower jaws.

The horn is “S” shaped and held vertically so the sound bell is about 3 meters above the ground. This was useful since it was used primarily in battle and the sound could be heard above the heads of troops or during ceremonies.

There have been a number of these horns reconstructed and used by reenactors. On the Wikipedia site you can even listen to a carnyx being played. It’s quite haunting.

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