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Explaining metalsmithing


#1

A friend (a non-metalsmith) was over yesterday and of course I was
showing off my bench. He asked to explain the process of
metalsmithing, and while I explained casting and he got that right
away, he found my explanation of metalsmithing to be lacking.

How do you describe metalsmithing briefly? He didn’t get the
process of how you take sheet metal and turn it into something.

This question is also partly prompted by a post on another list
about the “elevator speech,” that you should be able to explain what
you do in 30 seconds, or, during an elevator ride.

~Elaine
Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Studio 925; established 1992
@E_Luther


#2

Casting: Making a foundation that is not flat or square. Fabrication:
Modifying that shape by adding parts or making parts to modify it.
Mechanics are limited to replacing a pre-made part with another
pre-made part. If a part we need is not available, we make it by one
means or the other.


#3
How do you describe metalsmithing briefly? 

metalsmithing is a lot like controlled [hopefully] volcanic
activity: we use fire, force, & some violence on an element, toward
the end result of relieving inner our own pressure.

ive
or - whatever.


#4

Elaine,

I am a fabricator so I explain my process by saying that I build
similar to the way an architect does with a building, joining
piece-by-piece by soldering. If you are raising, sinking, forging or
using a press it is not possible to give a 30 second answer. It will
be interesting to see what others say.

Best wishes,
Cathy wheless


#5

Metalsmithing? Bashing, bending and burning!

Rex Steele Merten
Sydney, Australia where Spring is in the air…


#6
    This question is also partly prompted by a post on another
list about the "elevator speech," that you should be able to
explain what you do in 30 seconds, or, during an elevator ride. 

With half an eye on the “designers at shows” thread:-

Metalsmithing is matching the infinite possible shapes of metal to
the infinite possible shapes in the human imagination.

Bill Bedford


#7

Metalsmithing: the process of changing raw metal stock into the
object desired and/or a desirable object by whatever means necessary.

Cheers,
Trevor F.


#8

Metalsmithing: Turning an intangible idea into a tangible object
by means of drawing, cutting, sawing, bending, hammering, heating,
melting, pouring, joining, twisting, sanding, and polishing precious
or non-precious metals and adorning the object by mounting, setting,
suspending, wrapping, stringing, or otherwise attaching precious
gems/beads/stones…etc.

And if you believe that’s all there is to it, have I got a deal for
you.

Kay


#9

God, I love dictionaries. They clear things up so nicely for me.

I looked up “metalsmithing”. It ain’t there; there’s no verb form
for the noun “metalsmith”. The definition for a metalsmith is “a
person skilled in metalworking”. When you look up metalworking, the
definition is “the act or process of shaping things out of metal.”

So, a metalsmith is a person who makes things out of metal. Simple.
Easy to understand. Lends itself to embellishment, e.g.: A
metalsmith is a person who makes things out of metal. The processes
used can be cutting, filing, hammering, bending, melting, sanding,
polishing.

I like to use the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts
No one deserves lung cancer.


#10

I found these online definitions but no definitions of metalsmith.
Marilyn Smith

silversmith

\Sil"ver*smith`, n. One whose occupation is to manufacture
utensils, ornaments, etc., of silver; a worker in silver.

silversmith

n : someone who makes or repairs articles of silver [syn:
silverworker, silver-worker]

goldsmith

\Gold"smith`, n. [AS. goldsmi?. See Gold., and Smith.] 1. An
artisan who manufactures vessels and ornaments, etc., of gold.

  1. A banker. [Obs.]

Note: The goldsmiths of London formerly received money on deposit
because they were prepared to keep it safely.

whitesmith

\White"smith`, n. 1. One who works in tinned or galvanized iron, or
white iron; a tinsmith.

  1. A worker in iron who finishes or polishes the work, in
    distinction from one who forges it.