This month I spent the first fortnight unable to choose between Barbara Hepworth or Bridget Riley – both of whom are artists whose work I love, but are very different. I eventually decided to run with Riley, because a) I made something very dimensional for January and b) I wanted to make a copper wrap ring for #MrG to assist with his arthritic finger . You can see their work at the Tate – in person and online – click on their names to be taken to the information the Tate holds about them.
I’ve not made a wrap ring before, but it’s reasonably straightforward – take a strip of metal, and roll it around a mandrel. Of course, there’s still some measuring, but I wanted to create one that is adjustable
The most difficult part was drawing my template and transferring the pattern to the copper.
The photos below show the process, and the finished piece.
Cut a strip of paper, wrap round mandrel to get total length required. (Not photographed)
Print the image onto paper, and then taped two together (I ought to have measured BEFORE doing this, and then printed three copies, to save the final stage!)
Tape the image together, lay the template over and identify it’s too short (!)
Use bathroom window as rubbish lightbox, to transfer the pattern from front to back of paper – I usually print on tracing paper, which is more useful for this kind of thing as I can just flip it over, but I can’t find any made from recycled material, nor is it recyclable, so to avoid having to replace my stock, when I’m doing one offs, I tend to use standard paper
Saw a length of metal (copper in this case) to the right shape. I am restricted in the length of a piece of sawing by the throat of my jeweller’s saw, so had to use thicker copper sheet.
I sawed it, filed the edges and then annealed it, before running through Morris-The-Mill to thin it from 1.2mm to 0.8 (ish)
As you can see, this thinning extended the length considerably.
I remeasured my bit of paper, to get the perfect length and added a couple of millimetres to allow for the metal thickness
I annealed the copper again, and using double sided sticky tape (a stash I bought over 35 years ago in a village jumble sale. It’s still super sticky ) stuck the pattern onto the metal at the optimum width, sawing
Then it was pillar drill time.
I use my Dremel as a pillar drill – I found it too wibbly to work as a flex shaft, but it works well in a press as a drill for tasks like this.
I love the way the metal curls up after drilling, and I love the word – swarf
I drilled all the holes, using a slim bit first as a pilot hole for all of them, then using two further, larger bits for the other holes, to give the variation.
More filing and sanding to round the corners / edges / remove all and any daggy bits
Finally, wrap it around the mandrel at the correct size, and polish – These photos are of it unpolished as I wanted to check the fit before properly hardening it up. As his joint swelling reduces, I’ll be able to tighten up the metal, which means it should last longer than the spinner ring I made him last year. Hope you enjoyed this little walk through. Roll on March’s challenge 🙂