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Forming Metal Flowers


#1

Hello everyone.

I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on forming metal
flowers. I’ve been doing the standard cut-out some basic flower
shapes and dapping them. I would like to do more intricate flower
and bud shapes, with the base of the flower taller/cylindrical and
less bowl-like. I have seen all kinds of jewelers who make sterling
flowers that look very realistic and I’m trying to figure out how
this is done. I have experimented already with casting wax sheet
formed into flowers, and casting actual flowers themselves. But the
result I like best is actual hand-formed metal flowers. If anyone
has any technique suggestions or knows of any good books on the
subject, I would greatly appreciate it.

Angela Scirpo


#2

Angela - Recently, I was playing with fusing and fused a coil of 28ga
fine silver bezel wire to sterling silver. The result looked enough
like a rose that I went with it.

Hope this helps.
Debby


#3

Angela, I have worked out some flowers based on the foldforming
techniques. You can work that technique to most any scale. I have an
Iris and a Morning Glory flower that look quite real. There is also
a design that looks like Kelp that I use for a seascape sculpture.
Again, these can be scaled up or down as needed. I have not seen the
folding that I have worked out in print anywhere yet. Daffodils and
a Cattelya Orchid are my projects for the winter. You can see the
seascape and the morning glory on my website:
www.earthspeakarts.com. The Iris are not on the site yet. I have
found a really nice rose in a blacksmithing book. It hammers out
well in silver or copper. Please contact me off list for more info
or pictures. Hope this helps.

Bill
earthspeak@aol.com


#4

I’m also looking for smallish findings of silver flower lapel pins
with thorns/pins for drilled beads or carved gemstone flowers-
primarily rose stems and the like. Overseas manufacture is OK as I’m
looking to produce these in limited quantities as inexpensively as
possible.

Thanks
Clyde Gilbert
Greenwood Studios


#5

Ok - This is a bit weird but here goes…

Have a look at cake decorating books. They have all sorts of ways of
making flowers from sugar pastes (think PMC here) and many ideas also
work with sheet and foil as well.

Tony Konrath
Key West Florida 33040


#6

What a wonderful idea! The cake decorating books will be dug out
this afternoon! Wax extruders can be made to produce the shapes
that the frosting tips make. I am thinking ripples, leaves, and
stars, not to mention the flowers. Thank you Tony for another source
for ideas and designs.

Bill


#7

Hi Angela, I have made sterling roses and orchids using two or more
thin layers of sheet, folding and forming them(hardens) then making a
small sterling rivet(to fit a hole drilled in the center) to hold the
layers together then soldered a stick pin or other finding on them.
Take apart a real flower or look at some patterns in the findings
catalogs from the findings companies in Rhode Island or New York.
They are relly simpler to make than it sounds. Have fun! Margaret, in Oceanside


#8

PMC is definitely one method for making fine silver flowers. I’ve
seen roses made via cake decorating methods, origami lilies (using
PMC Paper), flower motifs formed by pushing PMC into a mold, and free
form flowers shaped by the artists’ hands. There’s an article in the
current issue of PMC on origami with PMC Paper, if you’re interested
(e-mail me your snail mail address for a copy).

Because PMC works like clay, but after firing is pure metal (fine
silver), it’s often possible to do shapes in metal that are
difficult or even impossible with traditional methods. It might be
worth exploring for the flowers you’d like to make – it sounds like
it might be the tool you’re looking for.

For more info on PMC, visit www.pmcguild.com.

Suzanne

PS: In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I am the
editor of Studio PMC, the PMC Guild’s quarterly magazine. I’ve also
been writing about metal clay for Lapidary Journal lately. It’s
possible I’m becoming the jewelry world’s most notorious metal clay
writer!

Suzanne Wade
Writer/Editor
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255
@Suzanne_Wade1
http://www.rswade.net


#9

One of my favorite sources for flaoral designs comes from
Aquaplast. It is thermoplast. A plastic that becomes soft in hot
water and is plyable. When it cools it keeps the shape you have
created. If you don’t like the shape it has a memory. When reheated
it returns to the original shape. Burn out time is the same as wax
and is as clean. Takes a little playing with for the technique but a
tip is keep your tools wet when you are working. It sticks to the
tools as well as itself when hot. Check the archives for other
discussions of this really cool plastic. Email off list and I will send a
couple of photos of pieces I did. Frank Goss