Friday, October 12, 2012

Small pod bowls? And metal giveaway

Whilst I have beaten many a simple bowl form - one of the challenges I set myself was to beat a bowl that was a pod or an egg shape rather than an open bowl. I was to go to Portland with Fiona in June; and I was going to learn how to raise and beat these pod forms with Greg Wilbur a master of this art. But my health event meant we cancelled that trip; and doing this form of metalsmithing was put on the back backburner.

However, recently Greg sent me a kick-starter link that related to a exhibition of metal work by 11 Japanese and 11 American artists. The exhibition is to take place in Portland Oregon in August 2013. It would be good to be there.

Anyway that is a long introduction to the fact that this motivated me to look at a couple Youtube videos regarding bowl raising; and then it was off to the garage-studio to have a go. The photos below show you a bit of the process and progression of my effort. Two of the pods are made from recycled copper; and the third is from a recycled silver-plate EPNS tray.

©2012 Barry Smith - Quenched pod after about 4th annealing
©2012 Barry Smith - Copper pod under the flame
©2012 Barry Smith - Another beating and ready for another annealing
©2012 Barry Smith - Copper pods in the raw
©2012 Barry Smith - Silver-plated EPNS pod in the raw
The outcomes are pretty good for a first go. I used my two larger leaf forming hammers to do the raising; and a variety of makeshift metal stakes to do the forming on. Whilst the hammers resulted in some nice tight hammer marks-texture an actual raising hammer may have pushed the metal a little better. I struggled a bit with the makeshift forming stakes so I'm definitely in the market for a couple of stakes that allow me to get inside the pods a little better.

The bigger of the copper pods (right hand side of the photo) is about 6.5cm high; 5.5cm in diameter at the widest point; and the opening at the top is 4cm in diameter.  Fiona wanted the copper pods left raw - she felt they looked ancient and had recently been unearthed. Anyway she has now acquired another couple of prototypes.

The copper was much easier to work than the silver-plate EPNS. I think I will do a bit of planishing on the silver-plate pod and give it a bit of shine just to see what it looks like.

And on Wednesday I  indicated I have been doing a bit of sorting of the workshop including my metal offcuts (see below).

©2012 Barry Smith - Metal offcuts
I have a fairly large stash of copper, brass and ENPS off cuts that could go to a few good homes if anyone is interested. The offcuts tend to be generated when I'm making leaf-bowls and other bowls. And I have more than I can possibly use. The offcuts are large enough for jewellery making. All are recycled material. If you contact me via the website contact page I can send a parcel to you.


  1. Wonderful egg-bowls! Fiona is correct,Perfect as is. they look like unearthed treasures.

  2. Those 'pods' have a very ancient feeling to them. Lovely. Some lucky jeweller/metalsmith will love those bits.

  3. wow! those pods are really something B. i totally agree with F that they should be kept that way. looks like some ancient alien pods from way back Sumerian time! i do love the texture you've created on them ... so organic and it looks like it was alive once.

    B ... the stash looks super yummy but i shall NOT be greedy! i still have loads from the last shipment. OOO ... lucky people!!

  4. (a breathless ohhhhhhhhhhhh.)
    What a wonderful post, I soak it in and give out positive energy back to you. Thank you for sharing what comes from your work.

  5. Your pods are absolutely beautiful Barry. I'm sure they will become treasures as do all your creations.

  6. I love my pods - B thank you! They seem a little bit like nests as well - cocooning and protective...

  7. AA, JM, LT, S, C & F - thanks heaps for the positive feedback on this new effort. AA & LT - sounds like you are in perfect agreement with Fiona who is now the possessor of the pods-coocoons. JM - the fired look certainly gives things an ancient look. S- glad you liked them; and thanks for sharing comment given you do so much of that regarding techniques. F- guess C agrees with your desire to treasure the pods. All Go well and enjoy life. And I have had a fair bit of interest in the offcuts - that is good - there is plenty to share.B

  8. well, barry, these are very good. the copper ones in that amazing photo are seductive. so fine!

  9. Hello, Barry.

      Your work is embraced in your gentleness.
      And sweet message charms my heart.

      The prayer for all peace.
      I wish You all the best.

    Have a good day. from Japan, ruma ❀

  10. Wonderful, this exquisite compositions with these bowls, very creative photos. I love textures shapes and colors, precious pictures, art at its best. Greetings.

  11. I agree with Fiona.... the nest/cocoon/pod/egg shells look good left raw.

  12. V, Ruma, L & R - thanks & glad you enjoyed the new adventure. V-seductive interesting word for these colours and shapes. Ruma - I like the idea that hammering metal can result in a gentleness - thanks. L- thanks - there were many hammer strokes in the composition. R- why am I not surprised that you would appreciate the pods in the raw. All go feel. B

  13. I am loving what you are doing with your metal pieces. I would love some scrap if you still have any. :o)
    What a wonderful and generous offer. I am inspired by the work you show. thanks

  14. Darn I just saw this post - guess we were on the same wave lenght of shaping like an egg. Gosh I sure hope you're planning a trip to AZ next Aug. you're only 2 states away! What's another few days. Would love to accomodate you and Fiona!


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