About Me

I've been taking things to bits, and making things ever since I can remember, starting with dismantling knackered alarm clocks and watches and helping my dad fix the car. Now I have a well-equipped workshop and have aquired lots of new skills, so I can make better stuff. When they first appeared, I became involved with personal computers, and these and developments in electronics have increased the scope of the things that I can do. Just recently retired, so O yes, now I can make all sorts of stuff.....

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

August madness

Well, its already September and here we are again.  Lots been occurring over the past couple of months, mostly to do with getting stuff ready for the Arts Week in October.

As you might expect, I have been trying to make a load of new stuff - I don't want to spend every day making some variation of the same box or whatever over and over again, so I have decided to just make things that I think will look good and see if somebody might buy a few.  If not, we're going to have a very full house in a few years.

For the Arts week, I have made a few new things from copper foil.  This foil is cut to shape with scissors; coloured over a small flame, and then fixed to some kind of a framework. The first of the new pieces is a good example - he's a chinese dragon, around two feet long, made with a coiled copper wire framework and individual copper scales fitted over the top.  The scales overlap each other from front to back, so I had to start from the tail and work forwards to the head.  Because the body is tapered, and curls in different directions, the scales need to vary in size as well as being fitted close together or further apart depending on the curves.

All this means that the beast has taken around three months to finish, and to be honest it hasn't turned out quite as well as I had hoped after all that work.  Ah well.

The next two were much quicker to make, and turned out much better as a result.  The first is a pot plant, consisting of a dead tree branch concreted into a pot, with a twisted copper wire 'vine' curled around it with leaves soldered on at random intervals.  It also has a pair of flowers, made from copper but airbrushed over the copper colouring to give a a more flowery effect.  I quite like this one.

The last one is a small bird on a wire, and was originally intended to be fitted into the pot plant so that the bird hovered over one of the flowers.  Good idea, but the mechanics of a surprisingly heavy bird balanced on top of a long wire, combined with the limited space available in the pot, meant that it was never gonna fly (hur hur hur, geddit??).  Instead, I made a mould out of MDF and melted some lead into it to form a square slab - the oxide film on the surface turned a very pale blue, so I sprayed it with laquer to try to capture the colour.  The lead was fitted into a wooden bas, and topped with a glass plate.

I planned to drill the glass to let the wire go through, but discovered that although drilling in a small bowl of water worked very well, as soon as the drill broke through the back surface it snatched at the glass and cracked it.  Only had one piece of glass, so I made a polished brass and copper ferrule for the wire to mount in and etched a small pattern on the glass to cover up the cracks.  It looks pretty good.


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