I never know what Ted will create next – it’s been a recurring mystery throughout our relationship. Two days ago, he made a feather that is currently in the middle of our front year, fluttering in the breeze.
When I came home from an all-day meeting yesterday, he’d created a beautiful bouquet of calla lilies out of stainless steel. This picture (taken with my phone) scarcely does them justice.
These would be perfect in a front gate, garden arbor, or on their own as a focal point above your fireplace or on an outside patio wall. We’ll have a supply at the Junk Refunk Street Market in Canby (August 20) and the Portland Home and Garden Show (October 6-9). The feather may also make an appearance.
See you at SIP!
For months, Ted has been busy hammering, forging, and shaping bronze, copper, and steel into pieces of art. Our basement is stacked with cattails, reeds, bamboo, dragonflies, and snails – and next weekend we will pack up the lot and take it all to our first show of the year. SIP! McMinnville’s Wine and Food Classic will be held March 11, 12, and 13 at Evergreen Aviation Museum. It’s a great way to spend a rainy winter weekend – lots of great wines, good food, and some very interesting local artisans. See you there!
Hanging your hat on a hazelnut hook
As hazelnut farmers in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley, we spend as much time in our orchard as in our metal shop. Both endeavors are equally satisfying. And, earlier this year, I found a perfect leaf in our Sacajawea field, across the road. Using it as a template, we manufactured 1,500 hooks for a local hazelnut company. and soon farmers throughout the Northwest will be hanging their hats on our hooks.
Cut from sheets of silicon bronze, each leaf was cut, smoothed, textured, and drilled. The hooks were cut from rods of the same silicon bronze. After both ends were smoothed, the hook was formed and notched. Then, each hook was silver-soldered onto the leaf and after a final polish, three five-gallon pails of leaf hooks were delivered. Here is a picture of the leaves just before the final polish. The heat of the soldering torch created a lovely patina.
We have a small supply of additional hooks available for sale. And, without the hooks, the leaves make a lovely holiday ornament. Contact us through this website or see us at SIP (McMinnville’s wine and food classic) in March.
For an enamel artist who works on a small scale, a bench anvil is an essential tool. Adding texture or shape to a disk of copper, bronze, or silver takes a pendant or earrings to the next level. While we have a full metal shop, there are times when I need to straighten or bend or recurve something again . . . and again. Rather than walk out to the shop, I’ve been using the garage floor.
Recently. Ted wandered out to the shop while I was in the middle of pre-Thanksgiving prep and returned an hour later with a new bench block/anvil. When he told me to turn it over, I realized that this will be my new best friend in the studio. He placed a dapping depression on the reverse side for doming disks.
Doming a disk before enameling adds structural strength and visual interest – and now, I can work on projects during the nooks and crannies of my day.
Similar anvils are available for $35 plus shipping ($5.95) and he can make modifications upon request. I’ve already asked him to include a slot for putting a 90-degree bend in my sheet copper blanks, thinking that this will be a nice way to incorporate fold-forming to my designs. I also want a wider shallower depression for putting a slight dome on pendants. What would be useful to you?
Driftwood rack with bronze olive leaves
In mid-May, we received an order for five olive leaf hangers to be installed on a driftwood towel rack for outdoor use. After a brief correspondence to check on size, etc., I spent an enjoyable afternoon in our metal shop. Starting with a sheet of silicon bronze, I cut out the leaves with a metal band saw, ground the edges with a belt sander, textured the surface, soldered the hooks that I had previously cut and shaped, drilled and beveled the screw hole, and polished the finished hangers before mailing them off. Recently, I received an message from Justin with a picture of his completed towel rack. It’s beautiful! And since he used treated driftwood, this will be something that he’ll use for decades to come. Thanks for sharing the picture!