About three weeks ago I wrote to Deb about my frustration on finding workshops oriented toward hollowware. Here is what I wrote:
“I am feeling a bit frustrated right now, I have been searching the web for “schools” where I can go on my vacation and do an intensive a 3-5 day workshop of nothing but hollow forms. I have looked at Penland, Appalachia Center for Crafts, John C. Campbell, Revere Academy and a few others. I found several metal/silver smithing classes but they really were about jewelry. The only thing I found that focused on Hollow forms was an 8 week session at The Penland School (oh wouldn’t that be nice). I can’t take 8 weeks off from work and the cost (tuition, travel and room & board) of going for 8 weeks is very prohibitive for me at this point (plus loosing 8 weeks salary if I could take a temporary work leave). So would you be interested in workshop where I focus 100% for several days on hollow forms. I want the workshop so I can take my skills to another level.”
Seriously folks, there is not much out there! On a side note I also contacted Linda Weiss Dickenson – she teaches in Northern California and does do some private classes as well; I found her name on the SAS website but right now due to no vacation time, I can’t travel up there – maybe over next summer.
So, after a bit of telephone tag, Deb and I selected Labor day weekend to do a two day workshop, and then I have Monday to rest before I have to go back to work. She gave me these tasks:
- Come up with 2-4 designs and draw them full scale. Then send them to her to make sure they are do able!
- Figure out what size sheet I would need (we would work with 20 gauge copper and it would thicken towards 18 gauge by the time we were done.
- Cut the copper to size if need be
- Pre-form the copper. That means do the initial raising so I don’t spend that time during the workshop getting it to the point were we can start adding the curves. Thus when I arrive we can make any adjustments, if needed, and then get right to work on the stakes.
I spent all of last Sunday doing my drawings which I then scanned, pdf’d and emailed to Deb. One is very easy with one curve inward with an angled wall with a rim [to be known as the Tapered Dish]; the second is a bit harder it will have angled walls but a tight inward curved rim [to be known as the Hearth Pot]; the third is more like a creamer/sphere with a spout [to be known as the Pouring Pot, it's not just for cream]; and the last has outward and inward curves – more like a short fat vase with a neck [to be known as the Southwest Vessel]. I doubt we will get to all of them but IF I can get two completed I will be very happy. Deb emailed back that the drawings were good and no changes were needed.
For the first and third pieces I can use a 6″ diameter disk and the second and fourth required about a 10″ diameter disk. I had 6″ x 12″ 20 gauge copper so yesterday I cut out the 2 disks.[Correction - the Pouring Pot will use a 18 gauge copper] the 12″ square copper was ordered last week but has not arrived yet, I will be cutting those circles next weekend. After cutting my 2 circles of course they were annealed, pickled and cleaned and this morning I have started the forming. While one is in the pickle pot I am working on the other. I am on my second and third rounds – the Pouring Pot has been sunk and I am starting the raising and inward compression to get a sphere shape – this in the pickle pot currently. The Tapered Dish has the base set though it is a bit wonky if you ask me, but that can be corrected, and I am currently on my second round of raising.
During my breaks I have also cut templates out of manila folders so I can make sure the curves and angles are correct as I progress. For example, I have the base diameter cut out and just the straight tapered sides cut for the Tapered dish, this is the first template. For the second template I have the curve that will be set in the wall cut out and for the final template I have the rim as well. Obviously the final shape might be a bit different but hopefully close to the measurements I have recorded.
Sorry – NO pictures yet. I am taking them as I go along but I want to wait until it looks more like I designed. Next week I will start forming the other two so come on back to see what I have to say about it!