It has now been a month since I went to The Nechamkin Silver Studio to do a SEVEN day private workshop with Liza Nechamkin. If you don't know, Liza went to work at Tiffany's after college and was there for 10 years +/- if I have my numbers correct. She knows her silversmithing stuff!
I did post two mini movies that show what I did they are/were about raising a tumbler and using a snarling iron and chasing a cup (also a tumbler but this one was spun).
Then work got very busy so this post was put on hold until now.
So let me tell you about the workshop.
SEVE DAYS \0/ (that is a happy dance with arms raised) of metal work with one of my favorite silversmith. Yes, SILVERSMITH, not a person who only makes jewelry in silver.
We started by looking at a spun cup for size and dimensions. Then I made a template for the inside and outside profiles and determining the size of the circle to raise it. Then it was onto raising the copper into a tumbler.
I started raising with a metal hammer on a wood stake. When I was half way raised, I switched to a wood hammer on a steel stake. I never did any raising with a steel hammer on a steel stake. There are advantages to each combination that have to do with speed, stretching, forming and what you have available to work with.
When the cup was fully raised, I then scribed a trim line and the extra height was cut off the top. The rim was sanded flat and then I moved on to planishing. This was done on a steel stake so the inside would also be planished. I started with an aluminum hammer - who would have thought that!; since it is light and yet is still metal that will help smooth out the surface.
After the planishing, Liza did the final polish and explained the process. The next time I go, I will be doing the polishing!!
This was the first 4 days.
For the next three days, we worked on using snarling irons in lieu of repousse cause you can't get your hands, hammer and tool inside a tumbler; and then chasing the cup.
First we filled the cup with pitch and place it in the pitch pot. The design was chased and the areas where the snarling iron would be used were identified. The pitch was removed and we moved on the snarling iron. The cup, because it was copper, was NOT annealed as it would have bent out of shape when using the iron; the cup would have been waaayyy to soft.
After the snarling was done, we filled the cup with pitch, again. While that was cooling, one of Liza's friends and ex-coworker came in to do a spinning demonstration. Tom is a master spinner (he worked at Tiffany's too) and we got geeky on the mechanics of how to spin metal. It was way cool!!
When the demo was concluded and the pitch in the cup had cooled, we then started chasing on the cup and discussed how to "model" the design: adding textures to make it look real and background textures to make the design stand out from the primary surface. Actually, I never finished a single a leaf, set of berries or the vine near the leaf I was working on but it was the time we discuss all of this that is very valuable.
My report card for the chasing part of the workshop.