November 18, 2011 | Categories: Metal Sculpting, Photography | Tags: Arts, Crafts, dragon, Fantasy, metal sculpting, metal sculpture, Oxy-fuel welding and cutting, Plasma cutting, Sculpture | 1 Comment
Ok, so I’ve been slacking on posting anything. It’s getting towards the end of the semester, and work is killing me until I finish transitioning to a new client, so the slacking will probably continue till early December. But for now I thought I’d update you all on my next metal project. Behold:
I finished my assigned project: the Steel Rose. This is the entire process I went through to make it. Took me about 1 week of class (5 hours or so). Because this is long with a lot of pictures I am going to us a little different format, with less writing. Without further ado here you are:
Ok, so I have been gone a while. Never fear, I have not perished. Really, I swear I’m not currently writing you as an undead. The sunflower is finished. Has actually been finished a while, and is now happily residing in my mother’s front yard. But more on that in a moment.
In my last post I promised to show a picture of the back of the sunflower so you can see how it’s all welded on. Basically I cut a circle with the plasma cutter, and then used the oxy-acetylene torch to punch a hole in the center. I then welded one layer of petals around the outer edge. Next I took the domed circle for the center of the flower and welded the front layer of petals to the edge, being sure that all the welds were on the inside. Then I positioned the two pieces together as evenly as possible and tacked the front layer to the back between the petals of the back layer. It’s not a solid enough weld to really support a lot of weight, but unless my family has to fend off looters using it as a weapon it should hold together pretty well. Lastly I put the round bar through the hole and welded it on. That weld is pretty solid and should withstand plenty of looter beating.
Below I have two pictures of the finished flower. I was originally planning on just putting up the one of it in its new home, but it was morning and the lighting isn’t too great so I have also included the one from my back yard with better lighting. The petals aren’t as shiny as I had hoped, they are already starting to rust a little, but that shouldn’t be a problem unless it gets seriously soaked long-term. So there you have it. I’m working on my steel rose now (which is an assigned project, though a pretty one) I’m mostly done with that already and I’ll post some stuff about it either tonight or tomorrow. After that it’s back to my own projects.
So today I finally got started on my own project in Metal Sculpting (as opposed to the mandatory ones for class, and general practice pieces). I’m super excited, I love working metal so much!
Anyway, I’m making my mom a 6′ sunflower to put in her garden (though once I bend the round bar and it gets stuck in the ground it will probably be closer to 4.5′ or so), and decided to start with the leaves. I cut them by hand using an oxy-acetylene torch because I wanted the ragged edges on the leaves. I’ll be using the plasma-cutter for the petals and center so I can get nice smooth edges on them. After cutting out the leaves in that lovely heart shape you see on the right, I heated them in the forge and used my pliers to bend and shape the edges. Once the edges were turned down nicely, I heated the center and pounded it out on an anvil to get that rounded valley in the center. I’m going to flip the other leaf so it’s the inverse of the one that’s finished now, I just wanted them arranged to easily show the before and after.
In all it took me about 35-40 minutes to get this much done, but a lot of that was me trying to figure out where I was going and what to do, so I should get faster from here out. Hopefully I’ll have the sculpture done in a week or two at the most. I will continue to post my progress, and be sure to get a few good pics of the completed piece.