Monday, January 14, 2013

BAW 52/2

I enjoyed making last week's simple, fibula, safety-pin so much that I thought I'd try my hand at forging a real fibula design. I saw a link to a post by a master Fred Zweig on Pinterest that was my initial inspiration, then went to YouTube to see if I could find a good video tutorial to augment what I learned in a fold forming class with Robert Dancik many years ago. To my amazement, I could only find two that directly dealt with making fibula's! Both by Mark Nelson of Rio Grande. Also both produced by Beads, Baubles, and Jewels. One worked with wire an the other one with sheet metal.  Neither were exactly what I was looking for, but I utilized bits and pieces of information from both to create my brooch.

Before forging and bending the pin catch

I'm really happy with the way it turned out for a first try, but I know I need to practice, practice, practice some more to make something that even approaches the beauty of Fred's examples. I started with 14g wire and forged the end that was to be the pin stem down to about 17g. I think I need a bigger bench block (mine is 4" square) or an anvil. I'm also not sure I was using the correct hammers. I used ball, riveting, and slightly domed planishing hammers to thin and move the metal. Files and 3M sanding pads smoothed out the hammer dimples, and a Pro Polish pad shined it up. My tumbler needs a new o-ring, so no tumble finish for me! Although I tried to use pliers to achieve the lovely undulating effect that Fred used in his designs, I think there's more technique involved than I can imagine. So instead I decided to add the lentil pendant before I forged the catch and bent it into position.

Maybe next week I'll attempt the sheet metal version of Mark's. Wonder what would happen if I tried to forge sterling clay??? Hmmm...


Cindy Silas said...

Love your fibula brooch! Yum!! Looks like you're having fun in your new studio :))

Fred Zweig said...

Hi Lora,

Great to see you take inspiration and make your own designs. It is all a teacher can ask for.