It’s been about two years since my first try, and I’ve tried several times since then to make an interesting fish shape using the same method I use for my birds. The biggest problem was that I wanted the fish to be curved, to make it more dynamic and interesting, and that turned out to make it infinitely more complicated than a straight fish would be. After several failed tries, I realized I was going to have to have a better way to create the pattern for the flat piece that it starts with. I finally came up with a method that works fairly well: make a clay model, and dip it in dip seal. Dip seal is a flexible rubbery plastic stuff that melts at 360f and makes a nice coating, which can be cut at the same place the seam will go, then removed from the clay model. This can then be flattened out, more or less, onto a piece of paper, and the outline traced with a pencil, yielding a pattern for cutting out the metal piece.
The first three pictures show the clay model before and after dipping, and the dip seal pattern removed and ready to use.
The next three pictures show the annealed flat piece I started with, then when it was ready for the second annealing, and the third annealing.
The next pictures show a little bit of the hammering, and the piece further along, ready for annealing again.
Then, some more hammering, closing it up. It took four separate soldering steps to complete the seam.
Once the piece was soldered I did a lot more hammering to refine the shape, and planishing to get a nice smooth surface. The finished piece, on a smooth table top, will rock and wiggle around like a fish out of water when given a little nudge.
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