Keep going to smell the roses.
I’ve been making some random stuff lately. I seldom work on one project from start to finish in a single forging session. When I do, I feel like I make mistakes. I like to let idea sit and soak in the few brain cells I’ve got.
I’ve made 3 or 4 attempts at one piece, hand forged roses in the past, some have turned out better that others. They’ve all been out of bar stock around half an inch. It’s really important to me personally that I can make these using the most traditional methods I can. There are a few ways to cut corners that I’m aware of, but I want to know I can do it with the most basic tools.
So today after working on a candle holder I decided to make a few of really small rose blanks out of 1/4″ round. I forged out the pedals and leaf. Everything except for cutting the pedals, rolling and twisting them.. and the loop and twist.. Basically I just did the “easy” part.. The “easy” part would have been intimidating to me a few months ago, hitting something the same size as your hammer face (using a crosspein to spread the metal wider) wasn’t something that came naturally to me, but I’ve been really making an effort to practice regularly again and it’s paying off… When working metal this size you can almost do most of the hammering and bending ‘black hot’. But without giving it some heat the work can become stressed and potentially break.
I only got around to finishing one. It turned out alright. I had it looking better before I decided to keep “fixing” it… I would like to form the blossoming effect and leaf to where it hides the unsightly underside while also forming a tighter inside.. I’m proud of it.. but it could be better. I haven’t seen more than one of these in person, but the best roses I’ve seen are almost impossible to tell from something living and growing from the garden.
Tomorrow (today as off this posting!) I think I’m going to try to clay up a fire-pot for my forge. I’m a little worried about the sheet metal. I’m not sure what kinda of steel it is, although I have an idea . I’m worried it’s getting too hot, it’s kinda thin and the mild steel plate and firebricks aren’t protecting it enough and I’m a little worried about my health.. I’m a smoker and I hang around a coal fire probably breathing c02, sulfur, metal fumes and burning oil carcinogens. I’m turning 24 today! But I’ll be lucky to make it to a ripe old age if I keep going like this. Ignorance isn’t always bliss, I work with a ton of things I barely understand, too much chemistry for me at times. I kinda prefer keeping it simple.