Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rings for Saturday

The first day of our Open Studios is on Saturday - no pressure but we do need too have a reasonable amount of stock across a few of our art lines.

I gave myself the goal of having about 6-10 rings available for the opening day. So I started a production line. Cut and anneal recycled lengths of brass tubing from old spirit stoves; and with two more annealings I beat them so that the tubing is curved outwards and them over on itself. I ended up with a handful of pretty ugly metal.

As I have mentioned in posts before - one of the risks of using recycled metal is that whilst it looks very similar it can be very different. I cut and annealed 15 lengths of tube from 4 different spirit stoves. I managed to get 10 useful forms as one of the stoves must have had poor quality brass which had a tendency to split when beaten

©2012 Barry Smith - A handful of beaten and bent brass tubing
Quite a bit of grinding and polishing turned that into a handful of shiny bits.

©2012 Barry Smith - Tube rings - state 2
And then the hard part - inserting strips of anodised aluminium without totally trashing it as I did the final fold and beating to get the brass to hold the aluminium in place. As you can see from the photo below I had moderate success - the aluminium did get a little trashed. I did finished one ring with no insert - I actually like this plain ring.

©2012 Barry Smith - A trio of tube rings
Maybe the solution is to stick with the wire I used in a couple of earlier tube rings; or put in strips of copper and silver At least with the copper and silver I can buff the scratches out. Oh well - we learn as we repeat the production.


  1. Lots of hard work there Barry.I bet the plain ring will go first! Do the two of you ever sleep?

  2. Art is always a learning process no matter what we are working with. Now you know what spirit stove to stay away from. Saturday sounds like it's gonna be a great day and lots of stock to drool over! PS.. I wonder if Alcohol Ink would cover up scratches on the aluminum? Good Luck.

  3. It amazes me how you can turn a stove into something so beautiful. And I like both the rings with inserts and the one without.

  4. Must've been very fiddly Barry. The results are definitely worth the trouble.

  5. it's always nice to experiment. you'll know exactly what to do or what you'd like in round 2 :) still makes my jaw drop how them crusty ole stuff can become so shiny and pretty after your midas' touch!! xo

  6. It is hard to believe that these beautiful rings were made from old brass tubes. Both versions look great, Barry, but my favorite is the plain ring!

  7. Fabulous work, Baz - I'm sure they will fly out the door.


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.