Friday, March 13, 2009

The "Spring Fling" Cometh...almost

The eJAG Spring Challenge is almost here, starting on Monday, March 15th. That being mentioned, I thought I had better post some beginning shots of my entry.

In the order of my creation:

(The apples are just for fun, and to make you hungry, evil me, they're wax!)

Image 1: the source, as usual, my copper. This time, I have started with two different gauges of copper wire; 4 and 6 gauge, including my favorite gauge, 14.

I decided to stay with the 4 gauge wire, and not utilize my 6 gauge for this challenge.

However, in order to get a grip on the 4 gauge, my feeble little hands could not cut this darned stuff. I started to get worried. How can I manipulate (love that word) this thick wire, and make it look like what I am seeing in my brain?
I realized I needed help...

...from my new friend:

"The Knuckle Cutter."

I must say that in our last eJAG chat, we did some laughing about the fingers I can remove from individuals that get in my way now. So I had to include an image of them, here (Not the fingers, but the cutters).


Holding my newly cut piece of wire in my hand, I also realized that I even needed more help, because my little hammers: Rubber head, and Pudd Pounder would be eaten alive if I were to start whaling away on this wire. I had visions of Pudd's beautiful chasing head flying off the handle and straight through a window. So I got out the first hammers I ever received, and started with them.

Ok, out of 4 beginner hammers, only one now has a head still firmly attached. The others all ended up literally head over tail. Of course, I stuck the heads right back on and continued pounding away. Nothing happened except I got a sore arm, so now I probably need a shot of some steroid in my right elbow.

So I had to refer to the Man 'o the House, for something a bit more meaty. Yea, that's right, the sledge.

Actually, it is a mini sledge, but it still took two hands.... You should have seen my husband's face when I put that little piece of 5" wire on the steel block, on my coffee table and picked up that mini sledge with both hands. This happened in the TV/Living room where I work at night. The color just drained from his face.

So I decided to wait until my husband went to work, lest I do something to the coffee table, that I might have to explain later.

After a while, and a lot of packing tape to hold that wire in place, I actually got the hang of it. I finally got to the point where I could choke down my grip at the top of the mini sledge, up by it's head, and alternating between my favored left hand and my weird right hand (until each got tired), I actually succeeded.

Another thing I have neglected to mention was that when I purchased "The Knuckle Cutter," I also purchased a brand new mini cold chisel. I only have a large one that I used for rock specimens back in the Geology days, and I have no idea where it is in the garage, beside the fact that it was a bit of overkill for this piece of wire.

After flattening my wire, and using a brass hammer to chase it a little bit, I got out my chisel and punches and started to work for the art of it. I oxidized the wire in LOS, and made a couple of smalled flattened wires (14 gauge), then bent them into the shape I needed.

Next came the sample fitting on my big flat wire, now starting to
resemble wood a bit, but still appearing like banged up metal and a bit rough in appearance.

I then tumbled all of it and the effect looked better.
Another evening of etching with the chisel and punches, then another oxidizing, and finally, the torch, to attach the 14 gauge wires to the 'big boy' 4 gauge wire, and then after some filing; I was good to go.

One final tumbling, and out came the Ren Wax, also known as Renaissance Wax, the utmost, the schizz, in Museum Artifact waxes.

What you don't see here is:
The finishing and the compiling of the rest of the items for this piece.
To see the final piece, you must wait until Monday, March 15th, 2009; when the curtains are lifted and the Challenge begins. Don't forget to vote: at our eJAG Public Blog, after Monday night:

That's all you get for now.


A Beaded Affair said...

I can't figure quite what you are going to do with it but I adore working with copper. I looked around your site a bit and then followed. I'll be back to see what you've done with it.

Wires n Pliers said...

OK Lois, come back after the 15th, better yet come to the blog and vote, too! I wanted to continue with the how-I-did-it, but being a challenge I didn't want to give it away too early.
It's ready to go, pictures are taken and ready for the listing, all I need do is create the listing verbage.
Did you notice that I omitted the name of this piece?
I also have that, but still refraining for giving too much info...yet.
Nice to see your comment. Thanks for following! I'll follow you too.