Metal in Massachusetts: Textures at Snow Farm

Very close photo of the bark of a tree.

Wood by Patricia C Vener

It was my habit, almost every morning, to take an early walk around the dirt drive of the Snow Farm compound. On this walk I would pass a very knarled, possibly dying, tree that looked like it had been attacked by a fierce wind. Every morning I’d say to myself, “gotta take a picture of that before I leave.” So I did, as you can see by the image at the top.

The photo shows a contrast of not only color, but of textures as well. And that leads me to today’s topic.

Start with a small sheet of metal. Copper because we’re novices and while silver is not as pricey as gold, why waste the stuff?

A sheet of metal can be textured, oxidized, soldered onto, milled, cut, reformed into shapes. I’m thinking that if I can imagine it maybe I can make it. Well, I learned how to drill holes, cut out circles and rectangles, (well, I meant for it to be a square, but the rectangle worked great), saw curves and ovals. Cool. I also learned how to dap. Now there’s a technique that could be fun to experiment with (copper first!).

For one pair of earrings I textured the metal both before and after oxidizing. I gave those to my sister as an early birthday gift. Another pair was oxidized and then the edges were sanded for a black and white effect.

Smoothness can be somewhat controlled by polishing. Or not polishing. The finer the grit the greater the polish. I’m a shiny sort of girl so when I made my spinner ring not only did I sand, but I also polished on the big machine with Zam, a polishing compound that is less messy than rouge. Alyssa told me I can get the same effect by hand polishing with finer and finer grit and finish with a polishing cloth. I’ll try it. I love my shine!

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