MAGNIFICATION AND THE RIGHT TOOLS
Magnification is a huge part of what permits me to add minute details. I wear these special goggles to see everything up close. I have designed my own work bench “stump” from a 150 year old oak recently cut from my property. The bench is just the right height and makes a good surface to support the custom designed anvils.
I have to say I am a bit of a “tool-a-holic”. I frequent auctions, shop online, and browse flea markets. My favorite place to collect is Liberty Tool in Liberty, Maine. There I find odd assortments of older tools, some times whole sets, that I can modify to suit my needs. Once I found a steel bar bell that I converted into an anvil by cutting off one end. It fit perfectly onto my stump and I used it for doming sheet metal.
Here you see a picture of me hammering tiny marks to accentuate a silver ornamental tube ( a process I learned to do in Michael Good’s metal smith workshop) that is designed to fit around a feather. I made a tiny silver snake as a detail on the top.
This is a piece I made to honor my nephew who died tragically in 2006. I found the feather on the anniversary of his death. Much of my work seems to be inspired by departed souls. I’m not sure why they chose me to speak for them, but it seems to be part of this “gift of service”, so I just go with it.
CREATING VIBRANT HEAT PATINAS
Making heat patinas is not an exact science. I think some of the best colors come from trial and error and are often just luck. I also think the water from my well does remarkable things to copper. I have yet to perfect the outcome, but I certainly enjoy playing with fire.