Tuesday, 7 February 2012

More metal samples in the studio....

 This etched version of one of the Tinsmith's templates is just beautiful, the etching picks out the label on the piece of cardboard originally used to make the template.  A piece of history, now etched in to the more permanent material of metal.
 The subtle contrast between metal colours and finishes works well here with the etched photograph.  The cut-out text is my own handwriting, but on the next piece, it will trace the real handwriting of the Tinsmith, made on templates, instructing him to cut two of these pieces out for the lid of a vase, for example.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Wire sock-stretcher

I came across this illustration of a design for a wire sock-stretcher; an alternative to the wooden ones I've seen at the museum.  I thought I'd follow the design and make one out of brass wire. 

The original illustration for a wire sock-stretcher

 A template for bending my brass wire in to shape.
 The nails will allow me to shape the wire around them in to the shape of the sock.
 The brass wire wrapped around.
 Two struts are soldered in place to hold the shape and provide support for the structure of the sock stretcher.
My finished sock stretcher.

Experimenting with acid-etching

 Here, a photograph of a hand-knitter of the Dales, is reversed in to a 'negative' image; anything that is white on the original image is now black, and vice versa.  This is vital if the final etching is to appear as a 'positive' image.  Many thanks to the following website for the image I used to test the process.  http://www.daelnet.co.uk/features/knitting/

 Here, I applied the etching resists of some of my own photographs of my model-making process.
 More image etch-resists applied, ready to etch.
 The same bits of metal, now etched....
 This image was achieved by colouring the metal with chemicals rather than etching.
 Here is an example of a photograph of one of the Tinsmith's cardboard templates, etched in to metal. The next step is to cut this shape out around the etched shape.
 Etched knitting image.
 More hand-knitters.
Wool pattern.
 Ball of wool and a wool pattern.
 The Tinsmith template image again, but this time the image is 'stained' in to the surface of the metal using chemicals.

Starting to make samples in metal

In start making template shapes in metal, inspired by the Tinsmith templates in the museum collection.

Using Gilding metal, Copper and silver-plated Gilding metal, I cut shapes out to 'collage' the metal together.  The idea of using already etched, or usually discarded pieces of metal fits with the 'make do and mend' ethos, that permeates the collections at the museum.

 Piercing out hand-written words with a piercing saw.  Although I wrote these words by hand, my intention is to use the hand-written notes evident on the Tinsmith cardboard templates that I photographed at the museum.

 One sample template formed in to a cone shape.  The Tinsmiths would then have soldered forms like these to others to create their kettles, jugs and vases.
 My studio worktop as work is in progress....
 A trial etching of a Tinsmith at work in to the template shapes.  Notice that the image is acid-etched in to the copper part of the shape, but on the silver part, the image is 'stained' in to the surface using chemicals.