RMIT Year 1, Semester 2, Silversmithing #1

7 02 2011

It has been a while since I wrote about my work from university. With moving home recently, and being very organised so that I packed files very early on in the process, I’ve only just unpacked my files to refer to …

First year, second semester, Silversmithing, project #1: ‘In and around the rim – a raised vessel

The intent of the project was to “design, raise and fabricate a vessel that uses a rim as a focus for decoration”; our lecturer for this project was Beatrice Schlabowsky.

I found the process of raising so enjoyable – methodical, monotonous, and tiring. Raising starts with a flat metal sheet, that is hammered (on wood or metal stakes) into a shape; hammered in concentric passes from the centre, annealed, hammered, and endlessly repeated.

raised bowl; original image by Mark Kral; not to be reproduced without permission

My design had no conceptual foundation, and somewhat unusually for me, came out of the first session of drawing for this project (usually I take ages to design when a concept is fighting to get out).

It’s constructed in two pieces: the bowl base and the rim, both of which were raised from 1.6mm copper sheet; the rim was then soldered onto the bowl (the joining edges having been filed at 45-degree angles); finished and then silver-plated. The finished object is 84mm high and 108mm at its widest point.

raised bowl; original image by Mark Kral; not to be reproduced without permission

Unfortunately the silver-platers weren’t as careful as I would have expected, and new scratches appeared on the object after plating … which is pretty frustrating, especially when it’s for assessment.

This project was enjoyable, and I found that I enjoyed what I could make even when it made me exhausted for days and days on end.

… last post in this series: RMIT Year 1, Semester 2, Jewellery #3


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