Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Fold forming


#1

To Charles Lewton-Brain or anyone else with hints,

Charles, I just noticed you have a video on fold forming in the
GIA catalog and I was wondering if it applies the technique
specifically to jewelry making. I had taken a workshop in the
procedure a while back, but it was geared more toward
metalsmithing (sculptures and the like). I had tried working it
in 24g 14k after the workshop with rather unsuccessful results.
The metal seemed to workharden too quickly, or maybe I was just
impatient. After forming the metal, I had tried to solder some
heads into the fold for diamonds and the stresses in the metal
actually caused the fold to break when I heated it. I also had
difficulty getting reproducible results (I was trying to make a
pair of earrings), but I assume that that is just a matter of
practice. I really like the look of fold forming and would like
to try it again. I guess my question is, would your video
address these problems.

Thanks in advance.

Sharon Ziemek


#2

Charles, I just noticed you have a video on fold forming in the GIA catalog
and I was wondering if it applies the technique specifically to jewelry
making.

It is a very early video (I had a lot more hair) and deals with
seven or so folds, just the folding, not how to apply the
structures to jewelery.

I had taken a workshop in the procedure a while back, but it was

geared more toward metalsmithing (sculptures and the like). I
had tried >working it in 24g 14k after the workshop with rather
unsuccessful results.

I generally recommend people work out their ideas completely in
copper of the same guage before going to gold. You will need to
anneal the gold about three times more often than the copper.
Also it depends which folds you were doing. It can also help not
to be shy with the hammer (if a hammered fold) as pushing the
metal closer to its limits tends to look better.

The metal seemed to workharden too quickly, or maybe I was
just impatient.

Yup, it does require a lot of annealing. Note that if you see
any visible red glow on your metal it is too hot. You watch the
flame where it leaves the metal and it turns yellow/orange at
theright temperature, shortly before the metal starts to glow.
Quench immediately for the best crystal structure. Annealing too
hot and air cooling may both lead to cracking.

After forming the metal, I had tried to solder some heads into
the fold for diamonds and the stresses in the metal actually
caused the fold to break when I heated it.

Most unusual. Perhaps anneal the sheet before soldering onto it,
this may help.

I also had difficulty getting reproducible results (I was
trying to make a pair of earrings), but I assume that that is just a matter
of practice.

When designing a line item (a reporducible one) it takes me a
bout 1-2 days to work out all the steps, even if I can do an
approximation in 5 minutes. There are brass templates to scribe
around for sizes, stages are recorded etc.

hope this helps.

Charles

I’ll post this to the list as well.

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site: http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/tip_sear.htm
Product descriptions: http://www.ganoksin.com/kosana/brain/brain.htm
Links list hosted at the Metal Web News:
http://tbr.state.tn.us/~wgray/jewelry/jewelry-link.html


#3
The metal seemed to workharden too quickly, or maybe I was
just impatient.
Yup, it does require a lot of annealing. Note that if you see
any visible red glow on your metal it is too hot. 

I agree. Something I noticed when annealling is a stationary
heat source can easily overheat a piece of metal that’s folded in
two. I have the propane/air burner coming from underneath (a big
short and fat bushy-flame) with the work on some mesh, and so the
heat is not really getting to the uppermost half.

Heat both halves to avoid overheating one half and
under-annealing the other.

I’ve done a few pieces of jewelery with folding. In 999 silver
and copper, mainly. Nice technique. Anneal anneal anneal.

Brian

Brian Adam ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~adam/
http://www.optisearch.com


#4

…Heat both halves to avoid overheating one half and
under-annealing the other.
I’ve done a few pieces of jewelery with folding. In 999 silver
and copper, mainly. Nice technique. Anneal anneal anneal.

That’s a good point. Once the metal is folded the heat transfer
from one side to the other is much less than on a flat piece of
metal. I’ll have to try heating the piece much slower when I’m
annealing after the first fold.

Thanks for the wisdom.

Sharon Ziemek


#5

After having beaten to death many pieces of annealed metals (I
usually practice with copper before sacrificing any sterling) I
have determined that I need some guidance. I can dome discs, put
in gentle curves and generally get out a lot of buried aggression
with a hammer. What I cannot seem to do is to gracefully put in
soft folds. Picture in your mind a fan held in hand with rounded
folds radiating outward, each fold becoming less defined as it
reaches out. Then please tell me how to do it. I am aiming
toward using at least 22 gauge sterling.

Looking forward to hearing from your collected wisdom, Terri
Dubinski

PS Now for a uninhibited gush. . .gosh, I love this forum!


#6

Hi terri, Charles Lewton Brain has written excellent book on the
subject, Forming Using metal characteristics. Also made a Video
on Fold Forming. The address for Brain Publications & info on
ordering can be found on the “tips from the jewelers bench” site
on the Ganoksin site. Win


#7

sounds like you need to go to the pitch pot and a rounded punch
to get the effect you are looking for. be sure to lay out your
pattern on both sides of the metal as you will need to work from
both sides to develop the flow you are looking for. maybe someone
else has a different way , but that is how i would do it for
solft curves you described. for sharp angles like a real fan i
would fold form with a break or groove and the bend. good luck.

Frank


#8

There is available in book form as well as classes.
Look for on metalsmithing. There is a good book
called “Metalsmithing.” that would be good for you to read. Even
a book about blacksmithing would help. Your hammers are very
impmortant! Metal is plastic and if annealed and struck with a
metal hammer on a metal surface, it will move like a wave. Sheet
metal can be “raised” with a hammer. This is different than
"sinking" which I think is what you have been doing. When the
metal is raised, it is hammered into folds that are then
condensed into a bowl shape. If the metal is well annealed, you
may be able to form the gentle curves you describe by forcing it
against the edge of your bench or other straight edged solid
surface. This will eliminate hammer marks or other forming
marks.Copper is a good metal to practice on as well a being
beautiful in its own right.

Marilyn Smith