Prep(work) for a Workshop

by laurie jane kern on August 15, 2010

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:

  1. Come up with 2-4 designs and draw them full scale. Then send them to her to make sure they are do able!
  2. 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.
  3. Cut the copper to size if need be
  4. 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!

laurie jane kern

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Bentiron August 23, 2010 at 8:38 am

I was just looking at that gigantic set of hammers again and he has a smaller set of hammer up for auction also, a strange mix of hammers, but a couple of nice ones http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230513199477 The reserve has been met and there are still a couple of days left to bid on it if you want to. Good luck if you do.

Bentiron August 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I don’t have that kind of money! WOW!!
I found these two little ones today http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Silversmith-Hammer-Tool-Lot-Chasing-Planishing-/380260951205?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0 and again thought of you. I already have two that are similar to them so have at ‘em.

Laurie Jane Kern August 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I just lost out on these – 23 hammers, who could want another after getting this lot ( please don’t tell me you won them!) http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230511057690#ht_500wt_1143

Bentiron August 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Yes it was but they looked pretty good compared to most of the fare you get on eBay. Did you bid on any? Have a great time at your workshop!

Laurie Jane Kern August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Sending me to ebay was truly EVIL! But Otto Frei is having a sale on Peddiman/Peddihaus hammers so there may be few of them in my future!

Bentiron August 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I know you like hammers and today I was looking on that absolutley evil site eBay and found an auction that had this, http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Silversmiths-Gesswein-German-Embossing-Hammer-/230511070848?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0 Now this vendor has several other hammers of note that I would love to have but they are all a bit out of my price range but I always like to dream just a little, however I thought you may want to take a look. To look at the other hammers just click on “see other items”. Have as much fun looking as I did.

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