Whilst I know a lot of jewelry texhniques, there is always something new to learn. As I’m self taught for the most part, having taken a few classes here and there for specific jewelry techniques, I felt it was time to learn some basics in forging. This will give me a basis for understanding how metal works.
Luckily I live very close to manhattan and there are a number of schools that teach metalsmithing. I chose 92Y as they have a great deal if classes to choose from and they have a great reputation (plus Stephanie suggested them to me).
I’ll be working in copper and brass for this class so as not to waste silver on practicing.
In the first lesson we cut out a rose petal shape and the objective was to get a rounded middle with a curved edge going in the opposite direction, to look like a rose petal.
Using a ball peen hammer I went in a circular motion, turning the metal and tilting it on the steel bench block, I then used a rounded stake and a planishing hammer to smooth out the hammer marks from the ball peen hammer. You have to anneal as you go, because the hammering hardens the metal (annealing softens it, by applying a heated flame to it). I then flipped it over and used a smaller ball peen hammer to make the curve on the edge and then used a smaller planishing hammer to smooth out the hammer marks. Overall I think I did a good job! I polished it when I got home to get a nice shiny finish, it’s also easier to see if there are any areas that still need smoothing out.
Next week I’ll be making a small bowl... watch this space! The class is 9 weeks, so I’ll try and write a post a week, more as reminder for me than anything else!