I started this new copper vessel about three weeks ago in class at FIT. I started with a 12 inch square of 20 gauge copper from which I cut a 12 inch diameter circle. Having made a vessel with 18 gauge, I knew I needed to have something slightly thinner raising a larger vessel. I started in my usual way which is to sink a shallow bowl before beginning to raise the shape. These large vessels are really difficult to control. I got a pretty good height on the first half of the first round. Then I had to change angles because I couldn’t continue hammering on metal that was gathering too quickly.
On the second round I planished a band of the first round before the break and then raised it the rest of the way.
Starting the Third round, I had decided that the bottom part was about where I wanted it, I planished another time just below half way before I began to raise the pot. Gennady stopped me working on the t-stake and suggested I use a mushroom stake instead for the large diameter, saying I would be more comfortable. We searched the stake closet and I found this one, it was more comfortable and I was able to use it on the following rounds.
Almost there One more round to go.
In my studio today, I began to work the shapes into the vessel this afternoon. I began by dividing the surface.
Some of my divisions were off and I had to draw an equator where I could measure with dividers to make the corrections. I attached a sharpie to my surface gauge.
The drawing behind the vessel is one Colman is working on. He calls it Night Scribe, it is the idea behind this vessel. I intend to chase feathers onto raised ribs in this copper pot.
With the lines corrected, I made a stencil of a feather silhouette to trace around the pot.
Then I took a dapping punch and hammered the beginning dimples at the bottom of the pot. I did this because I was going to hammer the feathers out from the inside and I needed some reference inside to help me strike in the right places.
Lines were drawn inside the vessel so I could manage the sculpture in stages rising from the bottom.
The sand bag was set on my bench and I used the hook hammer to start pushing the feather shapes out.
After working the feathers up about two thirds of the height I wanted to push the grooves between them deeper from the outside. It became apparent that I couldn’t go too high with this activity, some wrinkles started in two places and I knew that I had to complete the feathers before going any further. I used the ball peen end of the chasing hammer to do this work on the outside.
I finished pushing the feathers out to their tops (this isn’t the end of that). At this point I decided to trim the pot. The uneven edge was going to be a problem to cut if I continued to scallop the top edge. So I marked the rim, trimmed it and brought a preliminary groove up to the rim.
While the pot was resting (I wasn’t willing to put it down), I looked to see if I could make the drawing survive the next annealing. I thought it would be a good idea to scratch the sharpie lines in with a scribe. While I was doing that, it occurred to me that I could do some chasing at the base to start the feather’s pin end. I chased and I saw that I needed to push that part out more, nothing like drawing all over the surface to bring details into focus. I got out a snarling iron and was able to raise the pinions and raise the ends of the feathers that the hook hammer hadn’t been able to reach. It has to be annealed before I can do much more.