Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pewtersmithing 101

Yesterday I took a one day class on Pewtersmithing at the local Continuing Education Center. Pewtersmithing is basically Metalsmithing, but with the use of Pewter. It just so happens to be one of my favorite metals. I have never done a class like this before and being that this was my 4th attempt at taking an art class at the Cont. Ed Center and I didn't like 2 out of the 3 I had tried to take beforehand, I decided to not get my hopes up. However, it turned out to be AMAZING and I loved every single second of it.

The class was a total of 6 hours. I took pictures of my work from start to finish and I will try to explain the steps we completed as best as I can. It wasn't overly difficult, but it was time consuming for someone who was just beginning to learn. For this class specifically we made a contemporary vase that was designed by our teacher Lisa Lovis.

This picture below wasn't one from our specific class, but it best describes what the studio looked like as well as torching. (Torching is what you have to do to the metal in order to fuse or solder)

So, first we started with 2 pieces of pewter shaped like this and stacked on top of each other.

Next, we fused the two pieces together on the curvy side so that they had a permanent bond. You can see the fusing I did where the bumps are.

Then with our brute strength we pulled the two pieces apart to form a gap for the other side of the vase. Pewter is rather soft for a metal so it wasn't as hard as you would think.

Then we soldered the other piece of Pewter to connect the back wall with the large front pieces. Soldering creates a cleaner seam then fusing which is why we didn't fuse here.

The edges from the soldering needed to be filed down to create a flawless seam. I also had to file the fused seam from above as well to remove all of the lumps. This picture shows the rough edges from soldering the back wall to the front pieces.

Then last, but not least we come to the finished product! Of course I skipped many steps because I forgot to take photos of them (I was preoccupied). First, I added a lip to the top of the vase with pewter wire, that's what gives the mouth of the vase a more finished looked. I also soldered a bottom piece to make the base and filed the edges down as well. Then I sanded the entire piece to give it that brushed look and to remove all of the scratches it had from filing. Overall, I was very happy. The shape isn't my taste, but I loved the overall look of the metal. Pewtersmithing is my new favorite thing!

I think I am going to start a new hobby! Thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...