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For My First Assignment in a Metals Class in Art School
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Catherine Ronan    131
Catherine Ronan
This was the first project I made in a metals class in art school. The assignment was to fabricate something in metal. Using forming and silver soldering techniques.  I chose to make a 1: 12 scale teapot on a stand.
 
The stand was made of sterling silver square wire because I needed that gauge and sterling was all I had. The flower cup holder (for the burner) was cut out of a dapped piece of sterling with a jewelers saw. When finished, the stand was oxidized to make it look like wrought iron.
 
The body of the teapot is brass and was made of two dapped pieces soldered together. I wanted a tapered hollow spout and the only way I knew to make it at that time was to electroform it. I made a wax interior shape and painted a conductor on it. Then literally grew copper over the wax. Once I had enough copper built up on the wax, I was able to melt out the wax and solder the spout on the brass pot. The teapot had to be gold plated. The burner was made out of telescoping tubes and sheet brass and gold plated. The wood knob and handle are ebony.
 
More 40 years later this first project makes me blush/cringe a bit. I made five of these pieces. Dearing and Tracy (miniature dealers from the 1970's)  sold all the other ones for me.
 
I have often wondered what happened to Dearing & Tracey. They had beautiful miniatures at the time.

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ElgaKoster    528
ElgaKoster

I love first projects, I see it as the start of a journey. So many people are afraid to start working in a medium or scale that they don't know. How are you ever going to discover whether you like and have the talent for working with something if you don't try it? Never blush over first projects, they started a journey, we learned from it and did better the next time and the third time until it became easy to work with our chosen medium as we got to know how it responds to our efforts, techniques and tools.

Thanks for sharing Catherine, it is a beautiful little teapot and deserves a special place in your yourney as a metalsmith. 

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Bill Hudson    723
Bill Hudson

Dearing and Tracy bought some of my miniatues in the late 1980s.  I don't know what happened to them.  I would not blush at that work. 

I tried the electrodeposition for making spouts on some o my first tin ware. Years ago I was thinking of building very high detail WWI airplanes.  I found this series of booklets with how to do suggestions printed in 1981.  I found about electrodeposition.  I tried using an electric train transformer and used copper using a penny as an anode.  They gave a formula of wax for the molding. 1 part paraffin wax,  2 parts bees wax and 2 parts of powdered graphite.  Melt the waxes together and stir in the graphite.  My problem was that I did not built up thick enough spouts the withstand handling. Another thing that appeared in this book was the use of Fimo. They were also using photo etch for making machine gun barrel jackets.  I learned a lot from these books. 

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WeekendMiniaturist    218
WeekendMiniaturist

Catherine this is a beautiful first piece!  This past year, I borrowed most of the jewelry technique books from the library and I do not recall the subject of Electrodeposition.  Thank you Catherine & Bill for sharing the concept of this technique with the Forum.

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Catherine Ronan    131
Catherine Ronan

Electroforming copper takes some time. I had to take the spouts out of the tank and file off the bumpy bits every so often to build up a smooth and heavier surface.  There is plenty of information about how to do it online if anyone wants to research it.

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WeekendMiniaturist    218
WeekendMiniaturist

Is this technique the same as electroplating?

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Gail Geiger    11
Gail Geiger

Thank you for sharing your story about metal working in art school. I would have been proud of this as a first piece, and you made five of them!

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