Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rolling mill hearts

Since I don't use my rolling mill every weekend (or even every month) it's helpful to do a little how-to refresher before I go out to the bench so I don't waste time or materials. I have a tendency to put too much pressure on the metal, forging it rather than printing it. I either leaf through a few of the metalsmithing books in my collection or go to tutorials online (check the end of this post for my favorite resources).

Once I get going, I can't believe how well the metals take the impressions and I love to experiment with textures I find around the house - common things that might generally be thrown away are the best.  Earlier projects I did to add texture with the rolling mill are here and here.

Last weekend I used a pair of paper punch scissors similar to these to pop a ton of little hearts out of a paper plate to stick on the copper before running it through the rolling mill.  I also cut some longer rectangular pieces to try on a different sheet.

I annealed my copper and then attached the paper plate pieces with rubber cement to hold them in place while going through the mill.

The copper sheet after the roller action - close up:

I'm still not sure what I'll use the "lines" sheet for, but I made some earrings out of the heart printed sheet. I kept the heat patina, which gives the earrings some unique hues. 

There are some great videos on YouTube that I always seem to go back to by Melissa Muir and Soham Harrison.  If you are new to the rolling mill or just need a refresher, these are perfect.

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