Copper and Fire

This week, I finished the students glaze firings at my studio and now I am frantically trying to finish several ceramic sculptures for submission to an upcoming museum show.  I needed a frame to add to one of my sculptures, so I taught myself to solder copper tubing. After watching a few plumber’s YouTube videos, I had a good start with some confidence and determination.

I had a specific idea in mind when I created the clay sculpture of the two sisters.  I left two holes in the back to insert a frame halo or fan shaped frame to compliment the two sisters having a deep connection.  I also wanted to have the option to remove the halo for shipping or transporting.

I first created a template, then did a few prototypes in wire but I still was not happy with the results.  I wanted the halo to be strong and fit into the holes in the now fired ceramic work.  My first attempt at the idea involved using sculpture mesh wire with a heavy wire for support.  After making it, it was not the right look.

So back to the drawing board.  Then I had the brilliant idea of using hammered copper tubing creating the desired shapes for the halo.

With the help of the video lessons, I took my propane torch, solder and copper learning a great deal of what not to do and what works best.  Below are the results of the my first attempt at creating the halo form in hammered copper tubing.  I have far to go, but my vision began to take shape and I am happy with the project.

Next, I will use the metal file and take off any messy solder and cut off any excess copper. Then I will use a special mixture of porcelain, PVA glue and Japanese Rice Paper applied over the copper frame with added weaved copper wire.  Once dry, I will coat the halo with bleached beeswax.  Hopefully, the results will manifest itself from a creative vision to a finished ceramic sculpture.

CopperBench

Work bench to create the hammered copper tubing.  Love the bench vise and propane torch.

CopperTemplates

Template/Drawing of the halo and the first attempt using sculpture wire mesh.

Copper_TwoSisters

The unfinished hammered copper tubing frame inserted into the back of the sculpture.  It fits like a glove.  Next, I will refine the copper with a metal file taking off the excess solder and trim some of the pieces.  Hopefully, I will not have to clean up too much solder in the future.  Practice makes perfect!

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Lucy Fagella Pottery

making, teaching, using... ceramics in daily life

weddwould

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Sawdust & Dirt

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Ceramic Arts Network

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Fine Mess Pottery

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Jenny Mendes

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Gary's third pottery blog

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Tony Clennell

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

The Potters Cast

Picking up where the art degree ends

Blue Starr Gallery

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

musing about mud

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

NCECA Blog

National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts

Alchemy of Clay

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

CARTER GILLIES POTTERY

Im Anfang war die Tat

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

CFile - Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design

Tomorrow's Contemporary Ceramic Art + Design, Today.

meesh's pottery

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Clay Club

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

Rachel Dorn Ceramic Sculpture

Tanna Bennett - Living the Artist's Life in the Houston Heights

%d bloggers like this: