August 17, 2009

Fun with Fire and Metal

This morning, before it got too hot out, I went outside to play with fire! I started with the rather monotonous work of annealing all the Vintaj brass disc pendants that I had, as I plan to dome them all for making Collage pendants. I love working with fire and metal. It's very relaxing to hear the hiss of the torch, and to watch the metal changing color as it gets hot. There is a beautiful display of rapidly morphing rainbows that occur as the torch moves over each piece. Sadly, it is only momentary, and the color doesn't usually stay, but it is wonderful to watch.

I also love the hiss of the water as the hot metal pieces are quenched. Sometimes new patterns develop in the metal at that point, too. Some of the new patterns and colors will stay a part of the metal, and I can use them for inspiration when I am working on a collage. But mostly, I am doing the heating and quenching just to anneal them so the metal is softer and the hammering is easier.
After the annealing, I spent some time playing with more fire, this time just for the coloration and special effects on the metal. I started with these long raw brass pendants from Rings & Things. I got some lovely color on them! They are very bright and brassy out of the package, so the heat makes them at least blackened, and sometimes a more coppery brassy color with a bit of color and variation. After all of this, I played a little with the copper blanks I have been wanting to use from Rings and Things. I also found a box of enamel and glass chunks, and I really enjoyed melting the bits of glass and powders onto the copper. I will show pictures of these next time!

3 comments:

  1. So cool! It must be fun playing with fire all the time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's great to see you experimenting with SO many different things Melanie. I like the pretty crystal picture next to the image of you torching the metals... quite balancing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks like so much fun, I'd love to try working with metal & fire :)

    --Dave

    ReplyDelete