Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sometimes a great (?) notion...

(Day 58 continued)

For the last week in the forge I have been working to prepare materials with a specific object in mind.
Generally this is *not* how I have been proceeding with the project. As I do feel I still have a lot to learn about how best to approach compacting down each individual bloom. I still don't really feel confident that I can pick up a given bloom - then absolutely undertake the best possible method to produce a determined result at bar stage. There is no doubt that all this bloom to bar work is greatly increasing my skills, but...

I had three possible objects in the back of my head to create as part of this project. All three incorporate blown glass. Working with a 'raw' piece of bloom iron creates texture, an irregular outline and considerable strength.
Forged Bloom Bowl
I've always loved blown glass. It offers colour, transparency, and smooth fluid lines. The counterpoint to forged metals is obvious.

So this is the concept :
Rough for 'Fluid Core'
This most certainly is one of those times where my illustration ability falls so very short of being able to adequately picture the concept.
For 'Fluid Core', three pieces of forged bloom iron would be joined to create a tall tripod like shape. The surfaces would be roughly polished, as seen in the bloom bowl above. This creates surfaces that are both flat and shiny, but also darkly pock marked. The ragged edges from the original bloom are left in place as much a possible. Part of the technical challenge is compacting the parent bloom mass enough to be structurally solid, but not welding / folding so much as to blend in all the cracked edges.
The glass would be formed in place over the metal. On the lower surface, it would be allowed to slump down to form three lobes between the metal plates I'm envisioning the top of the glass as a long oval form.

These are the individual plates I have forged up to use for this object :
Bloom iron plates
All three pieces are forged down from the 'Slag Pit 2' bloom (# 49 - November 2011) The starting bloom mass was 4650 gm. It was the first piece that I worked under the new hydraulic press, first cutting it into four more manageable sections. (The fourth piece, smaller and more fragmented, was forged up into a working bar.)
You can see how I have drawn the individual segments into long thin plates. The next step will be shaping these into more of a triangular profile. I still have not decided if I will simply MIG weld the plates together, or make a separate cylindrical core to serve as the attachment piece.

I have already spoken to local glass artist Kathryn Thompson about co-producing this  piece (and possibly two others). I have been a huge fan of Kathryn's work since I first met her. (Kathryn was one of the contributing artists for 'Out of the Fiery Furnace' in 2005). Other than showing her my rough concept, I intend on letting her determine how best the glass work should be undertaken.

I will be using some of the OAC grand funding to directly commission this glass work from Kathryn. (Another positive effect of the grant!)


  1. I don't find the illustration lacking. I can see that piece in my head and I think it looks awesome, especially in the blue. Can't wait to see it finished!

  2. How are you attaching the 3 pieces together in the middle?


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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