Saturday, October 6, 2012
OLIO 4 - MAKING WIRE FORMS, NEW TOOLS, ETC., ETC.
In this pic, a pile of square, half-hard, 18 gauge, copper wire, heavy duty round nose pliers marked for positioning wire, the resulting "S" connector, all resting on a rubber filing block. Necessary tools not shown: flush wire cutter; small hand file, No. 4 cut, for filing the wire ends, (more on this later); brush to clean file; steel bench block; rawhide mallet and fine point Sharpie pen.
Some wire cutters, sold as flush cutting, actually don't cut perfectly flush. Cut a piece of wire. Take a look at the "flush" end with 10x magnifier. Aha! You see that tiny pip a the end? Not truly flush. Sometimes, when you think you are holding your cutters square with the wire, you aren't, and the cut is slanted. In both cases, this is where the fine cut flat file makes the wire end nice and square.
The mallet and the steel bench block are used to flatten the connector should the wire twist a bit and the connector is a bit crooked. A couple whacks with the mallet sets things straight. I made some round wire connectors the same, with soft wire, and whacking them 10 times on one side and 10 on the other, to work harden them. Rawhide is sort of old school nowadays with nylon and plastic mallets available.
A small display of various other wire forms. By no means all that I made. Just a small sampling. The purpose of these, is to use them singly, or maybe two, to add interest to the overall composition of a piece of jewelry. By themselves they don't look like much at all. None of the forms shown are completely finished.
Shown are dimpling pliers. The one on the right makes a 1 mm dimple, the left one is 3 mm. Why would you want one or both of these? Well, the best reason I can think of, is they provide a quick way to add some texture to a metal element. Sure, you can do the same thing with dapping punches and a steel block. Or, dapping punch and a hardwood block, or a lead block, (not used too much nowadays. But, you have only one tool to make a dimple, in place of three.
Well, I gone and done it again. Forgot to welcome new followers to the blog. My bad. Anyway, glad your here, it's always nice to have new followers. WELCOME!
Comments. Got an unexpected, nice comment from Michael David Sturlin, about the piece I wrote way back in 2010 on the Goldsmith's Hammer. Thanks, Michael, nice of you to take the time to write.
METALSMITH magazine, Volume 32, No. 4. devotes it's pages to Gothic Jewelry. Beautiful work, but it would take a special person to wear it! Wow!
Mary Hettsmansperger is out with a new book, HEAT, COLOR, SET, & FIRE, published by Lark Crafts. Lark almost always has outstanding books. Better than Klambach or Interweave. Northlight also produces some good ones. I've always like Mary's work. I guess the reason I relate more to her work is that I sort of follow along similar lines.
In this book there wasn't much new to me, but there were things I never thought of using to add color to metal. There's a lot of material available on the market now not covered in the book. Then again, you can't cover everything!
Well, folks, that's it for now. Hope to be back soon.