So, as I’ve posted in the past I am interested in learning blacksmithing. The goal is to eventually get some of my own equipment and be able to do some of it here. The downside of that is that it takes a good of change to invest into getting the equipment to begin with. However, I took a class over the weekend to learn about making copper bowls.
This really worked out great as I can start with much less equipment and still be able to make some useful pieces. The process we used starts off with a simple sheet of copper. For this project, it was cut into a circle, but it could be cut to pretty much any shape that you can imagine.
After the edges are hit with a file to knock off anything big, we hit them with the torch to anneal them. I have to say it is pretty mesmerizing to watch a torch on copper. It changes to an amazing range of colors and is quite the show to watch.
Next, it was time to hammer. We took the copper to a stump with a depression in it and hammered away to start shaping the bowl. After a while you’ll have to anneal it again and work it some more, but the copper moves rather quickly and you can easily see the shape form.
After the bowl is formed you have to planish it. This is a process of striking it against a solid, hard surface to work out some of the hammer marks used to make it. This can be done very quickly to leave a chunk of marks to show how it was made and look “rustic”. Of course this could also be done to leave an intended design of blow marks for effect. Then again you can always work hard to remove nearly all the marks.
The final step, that I opted against was to shine your piece. Working with copper you get this beautiful “dirty” look that can be amazing. You can just leave it as is or you can shine it using an acid then polish it a bit. Mine is keeping the dirty look, but I intend to play with it some more so I’m sure I’ll end up with more pieces, some of them shiny.
As I’m sure you can tell I’m hooked and want to work on this some more. Don’t be surprised if you see some more posts about being able to take the next crack at this pop up sometime soonish.