Well, the blog has been quiet lately. I’m not sure why, as I have been very busy. Maybe that’s the reason.
Either way, it’s time for an update.
For my on-going commission I have produced all of the leaves that I require for the design.
Here we have 24 unique and individually forged oak leaves. They have been manufactured with and “upset” identifying the position of each leaf on each ‘branch’ (left, central and right). These “upsets” are in anticipation of the forge welding method of assembly that I am going to use to manufacture each branch. The sudden increase in mass allows piece to survive the solid fuel fire as well as the gentle hammer blows with make the joint. Without the upset, the branches would be deformed and not elegant.
Here is the first of those vertical elements in progress; the design uses architectural motifs from the 12-13th centuries to evoke feelings of scale and height. The piece also uses techniques such as hot file work and engraving to achieve lush, layered decoration.
The leaves will be formed and textured once the they are fixed, but for now they are essentially flat to make them easier to grasp during the forgewelding.
I hope that the piece when assembled will impress with an overall “busy-ness” whilst maintaining modesty due to the earthy materials of iron and copper used.
I have been studying medieval metalworking techniques and artistic styles for several years and whilst Hollywood would prefer to display a dusty and dank history made of crumbling castles I know that the reality was much more vibrant and lavish than most would believe. The image we hold of a medieval past void of colour stems from the romanticism of 18th and 19th centuries.
Aside from producing components for this commission I have also progressed with the cuff, having rolled the stock to the desired thickness and length, ready to be trimmed and formed.
The uneven edges will be trimmed of from this piece of Shibuichi allowing me to finish the cuff off.
I began these two Fridays ago and they are bubbling excitedly. I have no experience of making mead, but have produced cider and Perry in the past. I only hope that it’s drinkable!