Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Silversmithing Workshop

The last day of the 3D Design and Applied Arts taster week was spent in the Silversmithing studio. This was by far the most practical and hands on activity that I had done and despite being quite apprehensive to begin with I really enjoyed it. Being around all the new and quite dangerous equipment meant that everything I did had to be done with care and by the end of the day I felt comfortable enough in the studio to return at a later date even if I don't choose to pursue 3D design.

The days task was to use the equipment on small pieces of brass, copper and tin to get interesting effects to then nail onto a wooden cube. Having not worked with metal a lot before I wanted to try as many different things out as I possibly could. One of the most successful techniques I used was feeding the sheet metal through the two different rollers to stretch it out and get different effects in it. The flat roller worked the metal to get it thinner and gave me a much larger piece of metal to work with than I had originally started with, meaning I could cut certain shapes out of it to nail onto the cube. The second roller I used had grooves on it that added lines to the metal which I used to create different patterns in the metal. I really liked this technique as some of the cross hatching patterns that I got in the metal worked really well.

Other techniques I tried included using varnish to resist acid in a fume cupboard gave the metal a multi coloured effect depending on how I applied the varnish. I also learnt how to anneal the metal to make it softer and more malleable which helped with the rolling and indenting I did. Having used each method on my metal pieces I decided I wanted each face of the cube to have different sized and shaped pieces of metals but with a repetition of type of metal so that it would work as a composition from different angles. I cut the metal sheets with a pair of shears and nailed them onto the cube in a way that meant the nails looked like part of the piece and weren't just hammered straight in the middle. I was really happy with the cube as I learnt so much whilst working with the metals and got to try out new equipment. If there was one thing I would change on the cube it would be to use the flame torches to age and colour the wood to stop it looking so light against the dark metals.


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