About the Course
Students will learn the various methods of cutting out sheet metals ( in this case copper ) into the shapes needed for this hammering workshop.
The skill of filing (deburring) non ferrous metals will be introduced to take care of the edges of the above cutting. The use of small hand tools, burnishers, scrapers, etc. are very important to this medium, and will be stressed.
This workshop is mainly about RAISING in which the teacher has 40 years of experience making and showing and teaching. However, other hammering techniques such as sinking, planshing, embossing, chasing, etc. will also be reviewed.
Concentric metal forming or RAISING is about striking the copper with metal hammers over metal stakes; thus changing the form of the copper sheet in small stages or courses. The moving of metal through courses of hammering involves the forced ( by hammering ) sliding of the copper’s crystals ( also called grains ) over and on themselves. This hammer forced movement needs to be controlled and this control is what will be taught. In this workshop we will be concentrating on the transformation of the flat sheet into 3D closed form.
One of the important techniques involved with this art form is annealing. The hammering blows and courses of blows are very stressful (called work hardened) on the metal sheet and if this stress isn’t released, cracks and loss of control will happen. Annealing involves heating the metal to about 1,000 degrees F. The use of propane torch to do this will be taught.
This process takes the work hardened metal from brittle and “hard” state into a more malleable form. This happens by heat activating the metal's crystals. After the annealing temperature is met, the metal is cooled to room temperatures for continued hammering.
Another result of the annealing is that the copper will oxidize and turn mostly black (copper oxide). It is good to remove this oxidation (although it is not completely necessary). Getting rid of this oxidation through pickling (cleaning with chemicals) will be discussed and practiced.
OVER AND OVER:
The hammering and annealing and pickling are the main factors here in this RAISING art form. Students will do this over and over again. Each stage of hammering is the same but different. The teacher will monitor each student's form and progress.
Controlling the metal into possible forms will be covered.
The workshop will also discuss surface techniques and patina possibilities.
Students will be urged to find other possibilities with this medium and the teacher will push you as much as he and you can stand.
Greg Wilbur is an Oregon born metal smith/ artist / teacher. He has practiced the art of the raising of metal for 40 years. He is especially known for hammering (raising) single flat sheets of copper, brass, pewter or silver into closed sculptural form.
Born and educated in Oregon, Greg finished formal schooling at the University of Oregon in 1978, with degrees in Fine Art and Art Education. He is a Viet Nam veteran. He is known for hammering/raising metal into sculptural and vessel forms, and has done so for 40 years. He is and has been an active supporter of the Creative Metal Art Guild, Sitka Center of Art and Ecology, Seattle Metal Guild, Society of North American Goldsmiths; and was a founder of Art in the Pearl. He has taught his art form all over America, and internationally in Canada, New Zealand and France. He has participated in 100 + Art and Craft shows all over America including the Smithsonian Craft Fair and Philadelphia Crafts Show.
20 years ago he experienced his first collaborative event (Emma Lake Collaborations) near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This particular event (the grand daddy of them all) featured 100 makers in many diverse mediums making together for one week. The experience transformed him and his art making. For him it is all about JOY. He has since participated in 22 such events sited in Oregon, Canada, New Zealand and France. He is often honoured to serve as a mentor.
This course requires no prior training or knowledge of copper raising.
What You Need To Bring
Gloves - tight fitting with rubber grip for hammer hand recommended (not real thick - gardening gloves would work)
Files - 2 rattail round files ⅜” one coarse and one fine for deburring
What Is Provided
Copper - 9” square of 18 gauge copper and 9” square of 21 gauge copper
20 pound propane tank
45 gallon burning barrel (with heavy screen)
3 large stumps
Post vises on stands
5 gallon pails