Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Forging Silicone Bronze

A few years ago I was approached about two projects which involved forging silicone bronze.  I had worked with copper a bit but felt I need to do some practice with the CDA 655 allow which would be the forging stock.

I ordered minimum quantities of several types of material.  It was pricey.  I only had time to do a little experimenting before both projects were cancelled.

Over the weekend, in the interlude of two 50º - 60º days before another arctic plunge, I did some cleaning and recycling and came across the bronze stockpile.  One piece of 1” round rod was purchased years ago to make some bushings but the piece of 1” square bar was ADA 655 silicone bronze.  I decided to test them both.

The last time I did bronze forging it was in the gas forge with a hand hammer.  Today it would be in the coal forge with a power hammer.  I waited until the end of the day when the fire was weak  and the light was dim.  Ken and I worked slowly and carefully taking at least twice the number of heats we would take with mild steel and forged a short tapered object, square at the base and transitioning to a round tip about 5” in length.  This would be my ring holder.

The bushing stock proved unforgeable.  Forging the ring holder was easy and not intimidating as I remember my pervious practice sessions.  I have some 3/32 “ sheet and some 9/16” round rod too, so, it is just a matter of figuring out a sculptural theme to use up the material.  I’ll probably start with some single element botanical pieces.  Probably most will be patterns which are representational but some may be fanciful.

I’m also looking forward to learning about how to create some different patinas.

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I don't often check for blog comments, so the best way to contact me is directly: at ottercreeksmith@gmail.com or djedwards@cableone.net