Friday, July 7, 2017

Gently unfolding

©2017 Barry Smith - Putting a gentle twist in an opened leaf
One thing that doing large numbers of peace leaves has taught me is just how many steps there are in my process for creating leaves.

Today I got a few hours in the garage-studio; and was determined to really push on with finishing my 210-240 peace leaves for International Peace Day. I finished the hammering of the leaf forms; and then was into opening the leaves.

©2017 Barry Smith - Last leaf form hammered
Because I use metal from old silver-plated trays I often don't know the quality of the metal until I come to unfold the hammered folded metal. So I have developed a 6 step process whereby I use a range of tools to gently open the leaves and so reduce the shock factor and in the main minimise splitting along the fold.

©2017 Barry Smith - Tools for opening leaf forms
Step one involves using an old oyster knife to just crack the two layers of metal apart.

©2017 Barry Smith - Small opening 
In step two I use an old carpet laying chisel in the vise and a soft faced hammer to open the metal right along the edge.

©2017 Barry Smith - Slightly opened all the way along
A vintage cooper's chisel is then used to open the form to about 45 degrees.

©2017 Barry Smith - Increasing the width of the opening
The edge of the anvil is brought into the act to open the leaves to 90 degrees.

©2017 Barry Smith - 90 degrees on the edge of the anvil
And the flat of the anvil is used to open the leaves to about 150 degrees. At this point two pair of pliers are used to give the leaf a twist and set it.

©2017 Barry Smith - Opened to about 150 degrees
So tomorrow's job is to do the anvil and plier steps on about 240 leaves; any then it is off to the grinding and polishing bench.

1 comment:

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