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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Works in Progress

I thought I'd start out with a view of my studio bench. This is where most of my fabrication takes place, and as you can see, I like to have everything nearby and on hand. It looks a little messy, but oh well, it works for me.

On the bench itself you can see the brick where I like to fuse and solder things, the torch to the left, a big cup of water to dunk things into to cool them off - I don't like to wait - flux, paintbrushes to apply it, small tools, etc. At the back of the bench is the shelf with my metal supply, and to the left, the containers that hold a lot of my beads. What you can't see is the table to the right where I keep my pickle pot, fire extinguisher, oxidizing station, and a bit of clear table space. On the floor is my lap tray where I do finer work that requires no torch. When I'm doing that, I clear off the workbench and put the lap tray on top of the bench. A small operation, really, and I crave a larger space with TONS of work area and a floor I can really dirty up, but it's sufficient and I feel lucky to have it.

I've been a bit mesmerized with fabrication lately - fusing, melting, soldering metals. To the right is a photo of a fusion of my scraps that will eventually become a pendant called "The Boneyard". This is a term commonly used for scrap metal and vehicles and I thought it was a fitting name for this piece. I took a bunch of my leftover pieces, arranged them in a pleasing (to me) way, and applied some flux to them and then lit the torch. The pieces fused to each other, but what I love about it is that you can still see the origins of them - the earwire that didn't quite make it into a design, the wire wrapped end of something, the remnants of sterling left from cutting out guitar picks. The mind can see anything else in there too - I've allowed mine to wander over this piece many times. I oxidized it and polished the forefront pieces to add some depth and contrast. The lighting in this photo doesn't entirely capture it but it's strikingly beautiful in its simplicity. Here is a close up:

Another project I played with was making this unique, organic sterling silver and copper ring. It still needs some finishing and polishing and maybe oxidization in some places. I'll let you know when it's ready to hit the shop. Thanks for reading!

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