What exactly DO you DO? I honestly don't get asked this question nearly as much as I wish. It is complicated to answer, I'm not sure I can adequately answer it honestly! But, I'm going to try to answer it, although I may have to simplify a bit. For this blog I'll focus on the fine art jewelry too.
I work in metals, with a focus on “forging”. Forging is a process of “metal displacement”, usually that means smacking with a hammer. While I do add and subtract metal, I primarily “move” it.
My main tool is a hammer and anvil. Using different hammers and different hammer strikes, I can force metal to move in different ways. Imagine working clay with your fingers, I simply do that to metal with hammers.
After I make individual pieces, I fuse them together. I prefer “fusion welding”, which is using the same filler material as the base material being joined (ie, iron being welded with iron, like in the video). I do often braze and solder material too. Brazing is using a lower melting “filler” metal to join metals, and soldering refers to using a white metal to join materials.
I also often use a form of brazing to make my copper pieces stronger. In the video I'm “backing” a piece of copper with bronze. This has the added bonus of preventing copper from coming in contact with the skin.
I want to talk about “specialties” a bit here. I get a lot of people who think “metalwork” really covers anything out of metal. The metal field is vast. Like, imagine outer space and each person's maximum knowledge capacity is the size of a tiny planet. You could carve, cast (there are several specialties inside of casting), forge, and assemble jewelry. Each specialty would take more than a lifetime to master.
My “specialty” is forging, and while I can do many of those other techniques, I'm far from a master in them.
Nearly every piece of fine art jewelry I create uses the techniques shown here today. I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog and thank you for reading!