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Discussion Forum

Looking for someone to make custom metal pieces 2 Replies

Started by Ali K.. Last reply by Andy Pomorski Jul 9, 2011.

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Metal Arts SCULPTURE Group

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Metal Arts SCULPTURE Group

For MAG members who make, respect, admire or want to explore metal sculpture. This group is here celebrate metal work on a sculptural scale! A networking group for metal sculptors, and fans of metal sculpture!

Members: 12
Latest Activity: Jan 8, 2015

Discussion Forum

Looking for someone to make custom metal pieces 2 Replies

Hi everyone - I work with a costume jewellery maker in Toronto and we are looking for someone to help us make custom metal pieces made of brass. The size is about 10-15 cm and we need it to have a…Continue

Started by Ali K.. Last reply by Andy Pomorski Jul 9, 2011.

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Comment by Marina Guglielmi on April 2, 2011 at 11:52am
Welcome Lauralee

I know what you mean about casting. Combine both methods depending on what Im looking for. But all of my sculptural casting is unique/original- I sculpt directly in wax to achieve a single casting- never make a production mold- all my pieces are one of a kind.

Glad to have you on board!

Marina
Comment by Lauralee Hutson on April 1, 2011 at 11:52pm
Just joined the sculpture group since I make more sculptural pieces than any other kind of metalwork. I am a hand fabricator and not a caster. I like touching and manipulating the metal too much to cast.
Comment by kenb on March 22, 2011 at 12:49am
Hi Marina, thanks for the comments! I'm actually pretty new to this sculpture stuff, as it took me a few decades to accidently discover that I have some potential with this metalshaping craft.

I have had issues with cracking when working with aluminum in the past, but those were mostly resolved when I learned to select the proper alloy for the type of work I was planning.

Aluminum is available in quite a few different flavours, in a range from 1XXX - 7XXX. The 1000 series is the softest, and the grades increase in hardness due to the addition of additives like manganese, silicone, and copper, until you reach the hardest 7000 series.

These are the grades we're interested in:

1100 - The 1000 series is pure aluminum, and is technically not an alloy because there are no other metals present in the mix. Very easy to form and shape, but dents and scratches too easily for our liking.

3003 - Basically, it's 1100 with some manganese in the mix. Forms and shapes almost as easily as 1100, but is 20% stronger. I use 3003 most of the time when I work with aluminum.

5052 - This alloy fights back a bit and is tougher to shape, but is more resistant to marking and weathering, making it a more attractive material for outdoor art because it holds a shine longer. 5052 also welds quite nicely.

I anneal aluminum quite frequently, but I tend to get a bit demanding on the material sometimes, so I often like to play on the safe side to avoid wrecking parts I have a few hours of work into.

Generally, you can shape 3003 quite a ways before you'll need to anneal it. Aluminum sends subtle signals when it needs annealing, the most noticable being the loss of workability over time, when you notice that things that worked fine ten minutes ago aren't producing the same results anymore.

Annealing aluminum sheet is quite simple to do. Just use a black sharpie to scribble a few lines on one side of the aluminum in the area you wish to anneal, and then heat the opposite side of the sheet with a propane torch (keep the flame moving around to prevent hot spots) until the sharpie marks start to fade. Allow the part to cool on its own, and you are ready to resume work on a part that is much more receptive to your ideas!

BTW, I had another look at my aluminum poroperties chart, and I noticed another grade called 5005 that is particularly noted for its suitability for anodizing. I have no experience with this particular process myself, but I thought it might be of interest to those of you who are looking at trying this stuff.

Ken
Comment by Marina Guglielmi on March 21, 2011 at 8:41pm
Welcome Ken!

I looked at your page and your site- great work! Emerging/Amateur sculptor?- oh please!

Do you have alot of problems with cracking when forming aluminum? Does it help to anneal it first?
Ive worked with a bit of cut aluminum sheet that Ive anodized, but have not yet tried forming.
Comment by kenb on March 21, 2011 at 1:30am
Hi folks,
It's been a while since I've been around, I see that lots has changed since I last logged in! I was quite happy to find this metal sculpture group tonight, it appears that we have a lot of common interests.

My craft is metalshaping, using shretching, shrinking, and planishing techniques to form compound shapes and forms in various types of sheet, including steel, aluminum, and brass.

I just thought I'd say hi and let you know that I'm around. I've added some new pictures of my recent work if you'd like to have a look at what I've been up to.

Cheers,
Ken
Comment by Dianne Karg Baron on March 19, 2011 at 11:59pm
I haven't used the enameled copper wire from Ring Lord, but from the photos on the site, it looks a lot like Artistic Wire. AW is polymer coated coloured wire. It needs to be treated with care because, while it doesn't flake, it does nick easily, and some of the colours have been known to fade in direct sunlight. Working it is relatively easy - just put some tape or moleskin on your pliers. I have found it good for adding colour to my work.
Comment by Marina Guglielmi on March 19, 2011 at 10:12pm
Thanks Dianne- both look great!

Have you used the enameled copper wire from the Ring Lord? Im wondering if it cracks and flakes when bent
Comment by Mary Hicks on March 19, 2011 at 9:25pm
Thanks Dianne! Good to know, i'll check them out.
Comment by Dianne Karg Baron on March 19, 2011 at 10:41am
For bulk copper wire, I would recommend T.B Hagstoz & Son. Even with shipping it across the border, they are very reasonably priced. For bronze wire, try The Ring Lord in Saskatoon. Their specialty is cut jump rings, but I seem to remember that they sold bulk wire as well.
Comment by Mary Hicks on March 19, 2011 at 1:28am
Thanks for all the posts Marina. I really appreciate all the feedback!

Mary
 

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