Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fonts in the making

©2016 Barry Smith - Close up of patina, fire colours (annealing) and hammer marks on brass bowl
For sometime two largish circular pieces of brass, bases from very large jardinieres, have waited patiently to be turned into large shallow water holding bowls - I would call them fonts - though I know folk will call them birdbaths.

©2016 Barry Smith - Bases of large jardinieres - 35cm in diameter - one was cracked - see bottom of the one on the left
It was a bit of a challenge to hammer these two pieces into shape on the anvil and stake; but I was able to do that yesterday afternoon. They are not finished - need smoothing; and need rivets and added bits to cover holes and fix the fractured metal. I didn't want to go ahead with hammering them smooth today as it Sunday and the hammering sounds might echo in the neighbourhood.

©2016 Barry Smith - The rough forms are there courtesy of Japanese soft copper hammer and anvil and stake
I had cut rusted iron strips from odds and ends in my rust stash to make a couple of riveted forms to hold the bowls. I managed to do that in bits and pieces over a few days; and finished the bending and drilling today.

©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith
©2016 Barry Smith - I used a rusty wheel and vies to bend the circular part of the form
©2016 Barry Smith - Formed and riveted - lovely late afternoon shadows
©2016 Barry Smith - Drilled and bent ready to attach to a post
The rusted iron bowl holder is to be attached to a post. I had two different lengths of 15cm square blackout timber - so I guess two fonts of different heights. The timber was in pretty bad shape as you can see from the photo below.

©2016 Barry Smith
But the timber came up well after a good sand with 40 grit sandpaper on my belt sander. I routed a meandering groove around the posts - from top to bottom; and coloured the continuous groove with black Japanese ink.

©2016 Barry Smith - Posts - sanded, routed and inked and sanded again
Quite an interesting contrast once I oiled the timber.

©2016 Barry Smith - Routed and inked groove in the post
There are a few more tasks to do on these; but I hope they will be finished during the week.


  1. i like where these two are going. why not "bird font"? or better yet, avian font?!

  2. Oh ha! The joke's on me. I read the title and thought, "He's casting type?!"

    I believe you could do anything ... and very much like what you did with the beam.

  3. V & L - thanks for taking the time to check out the blog post and leave a comment. V - I like the idea of avian font. L - not yet into casting type but who know what the future might bring - just need the font moulds. Go well. B


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