I discovered how to get rid of the fire colour on Titanium. Lots of new wet and dry paper, warm water (i know i'm a whimp but i'm fed up with cold water in the shed). The wet and dry sort of wears out pretty quick though....


Someone was chatting to me about this metal the other day, the idea fermented and eventually turned into desire when i found out its fairly ductile/or not and its hard/or not, depending on who you ask. I decided the only real way to find out was by the traditional experimental method of hitting it with a big hammer. I toyed with the idea of sheet Ti but that's expensive. but they do make posh Ti camping plates. Its light and fairly indestructible. I found the cheapest way to by Ti was on the net, and it was £15. Here it is, little suspecting what was next.

This is the real reason i was interested in Ti. It flame colours to beautiful blues and reds.
And the colours are persistent, unlike copper. In fact they are far to persistent. If you over cook it it goes brown, and stays brown....which is a problem. Wire wool makes no difference, scourers even wet and dry paper hardly effects it. Reading round the subject apparently Hydrophloric acid will clean it off, unfortunately it will also eat through glass, skin and hardly pause at bone, i don't think i shall be using that. So pluses, lovely colours, maybe able to chase a design into it... minus side, hard as hell, and not easy to rescue mistakes...

Raven, rats and man flu.

I have man flu, we really suffer you know, no one would know i was ill if i didn't constantly tell them..

Here what i used to beat the centre of the new Raven bowl back into submission, brutal but effective. I notice to the white jar of borax in the background, i've been looking for that!

Bright bowl after a lot of wire wool , vinegar and salt. Touch of "bar keeps secret" brass polish too, it pays to wash that off a bit after as its apt to carry on working.

Here it is again but i painted some black patina solution on to see if it accentuated the marks, it did. The Patina solution is meant for leaded windows, but i use it for pewter usually and i wondered if it would work on copper. It does, but maybe flame darkening is better..

So it tried it green too with my "super secret patina solution". It sure went green! Its effect on raw new copper is good, sealed up with Renaissance wax it looks darker though.

This is the 7" rat bowl. Came out rather nice  i think.

Rather random i know but for reasons of delirium from man flu i decided to heat one of my tools to red hot and see if i could twist it. I can! with a vice and pliers. I think making the tools look nice is good, sort of lets them know you appreciate them...

ravens, plasticine and wirewool

Here it is inked up and ready for hammer treatment. Notice the posh hammer too, that cost five quid! The chisel if a standard small thing, meant for hacking off rusted nuts etc I rounded it off a bit, after all i don't want it to cut the copper, and gave it a bit of "rocker" or gave it a bit of a radioused so when hit it sort of wants to move along the line. See the new hammer, ever the prima donna trying to get in the pic...

You can just see the back is covered in plasticine to help give it some support. Here i've lined out the lower feathery bits

All lined out from the front now, i annealed it again to make sure it didn't tear and to make it black so it shows up the lines on the back.

The back which at this stage looks better than the front, that will change, fingers crossed ah.

The front looks...sort of deformed, but now its due to be punched back down. The centre especially. The hammered finish is looking exceptionally good i think, and i'm endeavouring to preserve it as much as i can on the final piece.I'm pleased with it, it'll looked nice when its all polished up .

Inked rats!

 The small bowl, now after a bit of head scratching, is all inked up, with the ASDA imitation sharpie. (Real sharpies are too good its hard enough to get the ASDA ones off but the real ones i had to burn off with the gas torch) As you can see its two cuddled up rats with tails that sort of take off into a Celtic border. I hope to line it out from the front tomorrow and fill it with plasticine and bash it from the back . Its interesting, requiring more modelling than i usually do but im confident that it'll look good now i've sorted out in my head how its going to go...

8 inches , enough for anyone.

Well another small bowl is in the making, in between taking the mother in law shopping and marathon tea drinking, today i started this one. As you see i've moved the tree stump inside the shed. There's comfort for you. t5eh stump has hollows in it made by me burning coal on its top, it was the only way i could think to make a hollow. that was before i realised you only really need a very shallow dip, certainly nothing like a bowl mould. So if you want to have a stump just hammer a bit if it with a big hammer, that should do it.

This is the same round, hammered too many times to think about and waiting edge rolling and the final hollows taking out. Oh and i've hammered it with the good hammer all over, tomorrow, between onerous family responsibility's,  i hope to draw something on it .....i say eight inches, its started out eight inches but now its seven and a half...not due to exaggeration but due to natural shrinkage when its sinks in the middle.

The design for this one is to be worked out. My brain hurts!

Copper bowl...slightly warmer weather

So someone asked about a big copper bowl, same as the Pewter Raven Bowl but in copper. I like that bowl too and copper seems a good thing to remake it in too. This is the last bit of an old water tank i acquired. I think this one is out of a house the last was from a boat. Trouble is its probably twice as thick as the copper i usually use but its do-able. Marked out a 12" circle, cut it out.
Bad pic i know but that it cut out, pity 12" was just enough to make the rest of it not at all useful for another bowl but what can you do ah!.

Old routine get it red hot and throw it in the bucket of water. Copper then is all soft and it work hardens as you beat it. Heat it red hot again and all the inner structure is reset back to soft and you can begin stretching it again.

Ah a welcome guest appearance of big 'ammer, notice i've cleaned up the copper too. vinegar and salt mixed give a good acid to get the nasty black and grunge off. Used with a pad of wire wool, it works well, if a little unkind to my fairly soft hands.

After one or two passes of Big 'ammer and its tightened up, so the gas torch makes it red and a quench makes it soft. Not much of a curve there, i told you it was thick! I counted the hits, it was 200 to get that curve. I beat it on the old tree stump rather than the sand bag. The sand bag has sprung a leak, the leather split the other day, so now when its hit it spouts dry sand all over the shop...must find some leather to make another one..

Another couple of passes and its curling up well, notice also the edge is getting an irritating pie crust look, i will have to do something about that!

Oh dear more wrinkles on the edge which i could try to convince people are desirable but... they are not really. This is in the kitchen sink after a wiz round with vinegar and salt, notice the real colour of copper is very pink. This pink corrodes to the normal copper colour in a few few moments in air.

And this is whats needed, my new hammer! Notice its long and can reach the deep bits. This is the bowl after i've hammered it all over, backed up on the railway track anvil. That's the way to get all those shiny dimples all over. I counted the hammers blows until i got bored/disheartened with that. It take 100 hammer bowls for every 2" squared. So about 2000 all over 'ish...which is frightening. No wonder my arm hurts. Anyway its now got an all over even finish and the nasty wrinkles all all hammered out. I've rolled the edge there too which firms the whole plot up a treat. And that is it thus far...