This is a small silver rose I've been trying to make, one of the trickiest things I've ever tried, it's only the 2nd time I've tried playing with silver and the 1st time I've beaten it so I'm still not really sure what I'm doing! The pictures start at the 5th set of petals, the next picture shows 8 sets with the 9th being formed although I think I've uploaded them in reverse. The petals are cut from a strip of silver with a sharp chisel, then beaten and textured with a blunt chisel before being heat joined together. This is the tough bit, normally parts like this would be soldered but a) I wanted it to be pure (sterling) silver and b) I don't have any solder. Instead I'm having to heat it to just under 1000 degrees until the silver is just starting to melt and then trying to limit the melting to the place I want to join. I've lost a few petals as the silver turned molten in the blink of an eye. Still outer 'scale' petals to form and a stem, I'm not sure how to make the stem yet...
It's been a long time since my last post... Over a year in fact and what a wait...
On the positives I was accepted into the Guild of Master Craftsmen, my work was featured in Britain's best-selling woodworking magazine as well as blogs & magazines in Holland & Russia and some very well known film and photography studios were added to my client list..
On the downside an unfortunate chain of events in my neighbouring workshops, followed by a fire led me to make the difficult decision to vacate my workshop, sell my tools and put all materials into storage. And that's how it's been for over 10 months now. A long wait trying to find a new workspace. At the time when I should have been working more than I've ever worked before, I've had to sit on the sidelines, watching and waiting.... But, the time hasn't been spent idly!!! I've learnt a new skill. One I never dreamed I would be able to master - although I have a long way to go before I can also call myself a Master of carving, I think you'll agree; I've certainly made a good start.
|Burr Oak, Deep Relief Carving. Awaiting a poem,|
|Green Man, carved in Walnut...|
|...40 Oak leaves wrapped round his head.|
|'White Goddess' carved from a 3.5" x 0.5" Ebony piano key|
|...A little bit of work left..|
|Anatomically correct Skeleton Key...|
|...also carved from a 3.5" Ebony piano key. Almost finished..|
|...but still a little work to go.|
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A little table that I've been planning for a while and showed in progress a little while ago, I just couldn't decide what wood compliment the Pippy Oak top....
Originally the inspiration was an Arts & Crafts style table my father owned, although it looks nothing like it.
It allows for very delicate legs to be turned.
This small hallway lamp stand type corner table is made with a Pippy Oak top and very delicate turned Beech legs and rails.. Not quite finished, there are a couple of Jarrah pieces to fit and I realised the front top rail is missing in the picure but it will be finished soon :) This was kind of inspired by an Arts & Crafts period piece. The unusual positioning of the front rail and uneven spacing of the legs gives it a slightly geometric style.
I was going to call this post 'how to turn an alabaster bowl' but really I should be calling it 'how not to turn an alabaster bowl'. It was more of an exercise to find out whether a piece with this many faults can be turned or not. I've carved it by hand before so know that this many faults make the stone very fragile..
|Step 1: the hunk of alabaster stone, the grey lines are shale (soft limestone) which breaks easily and is also very abrasive on tools. There is a high risk of it breaking on these lines....|
|Step 3: starting turning... I foolishly made little effort to round the stone 1st and the vibration is massive, at the moment I'm just trying to round it off to see what I have to work with...|
|Step 4: a nice shape is now starting to develop and sanding/polishing on the outside can start....|
|Wetting the stone allows you to see the colours that will show when it's finished...|
|Before I could continue I had to make a new chisel to undercut the rim. Not very pretty but the solid steel bar adds needed strength..|
|Placing a light inside shows why it's been used in art for so many millennia.|
|Trying to open and undercut the rim caused small cracks which broke out, this kept happening until most of the top had broken away and the rim had opened up to a more conventional bowl shape and less of a hollow form...|
|A lot smaller than it started but as the whole purpose was to see if a piece with this many faults can be turned. It's a little wonder that I managed any bowl from it. Yes it can but it shouldn't!|
|The grey is the limestone shale which runs through the stone, each patch of grey is considered a fault which would cause this to be discarded by any normal stoneshop...|
|Notice also the obvious presence of Mica & Quartz crystals|