Walk in the Woods in the Works

“Walk in the Woods” is a 14” copper fruit bowl chased and raised on a mild steel engraved pedestal.   It was inspired by a walk in the woods in the Fall of the year.   It is dedicated to Sarah James, who can no longer see, but can feel the textures.

“Walk in the Woods” is 14” wide and weighs nearly 3 pounds. The first sketch was done January 23, 2019 and the piece was finished March 30.    The bowl is 14 gauge copper and the pedestal is 14 gauge carbon steel.   It took more than 25,000 hammer blows to create the design and shape the bowl.

I used chasing tools from Lisa Nechamkin and Saign Charlestein along with tools I made.  My chasing hammers are from Saign Charlestein - on is 4 ounces and the other is 10 ounces

The piercing, chasing and design in the bowl were done by Louise and Don designed, engraved and assembled the base to bring the final piece, “Walk in the Woods” together.

Leaves that inspired the bowl were picked up on a walk in the woods and pressed.

Paper leaves were made and arranged into a design according to shape and texture. Once the leaves were arranged, they were traced then transferred to the copper using carbon paper.

The metal was annealed under the torch to make it workable.

The copper was put on the pitch for support during chasing

After the initial outlines of the leaves were chased into the metal, two torches were used while fusing sterling silver to the copper so the copper will be hot enough to accept the sterling silver and the silver will melt. Copper melts at 1984 F and Sterling Silver melts at 1640, so the temperature has only a 340-degree range between melting the silver and melting the copper.  


Silver was ground to a more level plane to facilitate the texturing and further chasing.

Final chasing and textures were done on the pitch with the hammer and chasing tools and the bowl removed from the pitch.

The edge of the bowl was pierced (cut) with a jeweler’s saw for further definition.

The edge of the bowl was filed and sanded smooth.   A Jeweler’s saw was used to hold strips of very fine sand paper to get into the tight spots.

A 12” iron skilled was used along with a chair cushion to begin shaping the bowl by pushing it down with the heels and using the full body weight. We call it Calcaneus hammer forming. (calcaneus is the name of the heel bone).

The bowl was hammered into a sand bag to develop the proper shape. The hammer is delrin which does not damage the texture of the bowl.   The usual methods of raising were not used because it would damage the detail chased into the surface of the bowl.

The shape of the bowl was refined by hammering it against a leather covered steel ball.

The pedestal is carbon steel hand engraved with vines and leaves. This is the concept drawing.

The steel was painted white so the design would show up when transferred from the original drawings.   The design was cut in with steel gravers.  

The legs of the pedestal are pierced (cut) from 14-gauge mild steel.

The legs of the pedestal are the trunk for the vines in the pedestal and they were engraved by hand.

The three parts of the band of the pedestal were bent by hand on the bending jig.
All of the pieces are ready for assembly

All of the pieces are prepared for assembly and finishing.

The legs were riveted on.

The legs were blended with the band by engraving.

The patina was added by dipping the piece a bin Liver of Sulfur solution.

And after 70 days "Walk in the Woods" was finished.


Older Post Newer Post