You Can’t Foldform Nickel!

From start to finish, the process of forging folded nickel ©2015 WTEK
From start to finish, the process of forging folded nickel ©2015 WTEK

I was actually told this by a metalsmith – you can’t foldform nickel! As you can see by looking through my process posts that it is possible. It’s just a lot of work. Nickel is a springy metal (thus why it is used in actual springs) which makes it difficult to work with and keep it from warping.

But I love the color, the durability that nickel provides, so I foldform nickel. Not just little line folds either. OK, this is technically a line fold, but then I forge the edges to get it to curve. This is the same technique I used on the copper parts in Ixis. Didn’t take quite as much annealing for that one though…

Copper, now copper moves like butter, but where’s the challenge in that?

As for the rest of the chalice, that’s coming along nicely too. I’m working out right now how to finish up the base and then once it’s all together I’ll post the rest of the in process photos. You’ll see the challenge isn’t just in using nickel!

Sawing and Patterns

Crocus Alert!
Crocus Alert!

The weather has gotten much better. See even the crocusi (crocuses?) are popping up! Though I’ve been battling a low grade cold, I did manage to get some studio time in this weekend.

Sawing and Patterns, that’s where I’m at right now. I decided to do something about all that unfinished business I have sitting around and taunting me. Plus I had an idea for a new wallpiece (or should it be a platter? I’m torn.)

Kind of bunny eared, right?
Kind of bunny eared, right?

I had an idea a while back for a super tall, spiky vessel and I thought maybe that’s what I could do with that silver bowl that’s been waiting for inspiration to strike. So I had a go at some paper patterns. Not sure whether I’ll do this or start from scratch for the tall piece and work on a different solution I had to the silver puzzle.

Pierced Wavy Vessel metal
That brass is so shiny! Let’s see what I can do about that…

Then I finally got to cutting out the unpierced parts of that flame-like pierced vessel I’ve been working on. I had difficulty deciding whether to make them in brass or copper and I finally just had to pick one and move forward. I think my cold was fostering a sense of major indecision. I regret nothing about this choice so far…

Dble Pierced Bowl Pattern
Pattern for that wallpiece/platter I’m starting ©2015 WTEK

Then I cut out the bronze background part for a new piece that will have two very shallow formed parts with piercings that overlap partially. I had that same bout of indecision working on what type of metal to make the smaller piece (I’m going with my old stand-by, nickel.) and whether or not to keep them flat, concave, or convex. I’m going with my initial thought of concave.

The bronze is cut out now, but not the smaller piece. There's only so much sawing I can take at once!
The bronze is cut out now, but not the smaller piece. There’s only so much sawing I can take at once!

Basically while the crocuses (crocusi?!) are growing, so is my inspiration!

Waiting for Inspiration

Probably the next piece I'll work on post-ACC ©2015 WTEK
Probably the next piece I’ll work on post-ACC ©2015 WTEK

At any given time, there are unfinished pieces that are sitting around the studio. So are currently being worked on, some are just taking a short break, and others have been sitting there foreeeeevvvvvvveeeeeer.

Since I’ve been working feverishly on my new booth set-up, I haven’t been working on any metalwork the past couple of weeks. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind, just that I can’t work on it right now.

I had started working on a vessel right as it became time for SBC VII, so that will probably be the next thing I finish, unless I get excited about something new I come up with before I get back.

The background for a wallpiece maybe? ©2015 WTEK
The background for a wallpiece maybe? ©2015 WTEK

Then there is the teapot (or maybe just lidded vessel) that I started last year. It’s in a kind of stasis while I figure out how to do the legs or maybe if I want a complete overhaul. There is also the silver vessel I started over the summer that I think I have a good idea for how I want to finish it now, so that will happen soon also.

Then there is the sorry old sculpture that I was so excited for when I started it, but then the excitement fizzled out. It just sits there mocking me now. I also have a sheet of folded brass that I began at the same time as Downrush, but haven’t decided what to do with yet.

They aren’t all lost causes, some just need time, others a little love. But they’ll all wait until I get all the wood stuff cleaned up in there!

Unfinished Silver Vessel ©2015 WTEK
Unfinished Silver Vessel ©2015 WTEK
Unfinished sculpture parts ©2015 WTEK
Unfinished sculpture parts ©2015 WTEK
Still unfinished "teapot" ©2015 WTEK
Still unfinished “teapot” ©2015 WTEK