Raising A Copper Bowl

I took part in a raising masterclass on Friday, not realising how much pain I was going to be in at the end of the day! Ouch! We covered all the basics in the hammer room, learning the different types of hammers and stakes you need to raise metal.

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Copper, brass, gilding, silver, gold and steel can be used for raising. Copper is a good metal to use as it is soft, malleable and solders well however it can be too soft for a final piece so would normally be used for practicing and prototypes

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I started off with a copper sheet square which I then found the centre and cut out a circle with the shears then took the burr off with a file. When manipulating metal with hammers I have found that the rule is to start off with the softer hammers and then gradually build up to the metal ones. So with this in mind I used the blocking/doming hammers (which are normally wooden, nylon, horn or hide). I used the wooden blocking hammer and a dip in the tree stump to form the outer edge of the metal circle. This formed a copper poppadum! Once evening the edges out I then used a pencil compass to line out a base for the bowl. These lines create a guideline to hammer along and to give an indication to which sized stake to use.

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I then started to use a raising hammer with the stake. Annealing is key to keeping this whole process easy. It needs a lot of force to change the shape of metal! I found that creating a stop/start line is useful to know while raising. After a few (hours) rounds of raising I was happy with the size and the angle of my bowl. I then wanted to define the base. As you can see it is quite rounded here.FullSizeRender (52).jpg

To define the base I used a wooden block hammer to lightly flatten the base. I then used a flat round stake to hammer along the side of the base to create a defined crease. For this I used a small collet hammer so that I could get into the tiny area.

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This is as far as i got within the day session, it is a time worthy task especially for beginners! To finish this i need to carry on defining the base and then start lightly planishing the whole piece on a stake to give it a clean finish.

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