I never normally do this, but every so often, I need to do a bit of
shameless self promotion. In this case, workshops.
One on the East Coast, one on the West. So if you’ve ever wondered
just who exactly this Alberic person was, you have a chance to catch
up with him in person. Or actually, to catch up with Brian Meek, his
First workshop is May 24-25 at Metalwerks in Boston. It’s the
Sunday/Monday after the SNAG conference. (Memorial day weekend) It’ll
be a two day workshop focusing on Korean style damascene work, done
on titanium. The short form is that you take very sharp chisels and
shred the surface of the titanium until it acts like metal velcro.
Then you (carefully) pound karat gold foil into the surface. Gold is
ductile enough that properly prepared foils will lock to the
We’ll be covering:
Making the chisels
Making the gold foil (Which can also be used for Kum-Boo.)
and then doing the damascene-ing,
Heat coloring the Ti.
Along the way, we’ll also be touching on how to make really
top-notch chasing punches. (The chisels are sharp punches. As long
as we’re in the neighborhood, it’ll take another 10 minutes to talk
about how to make chasing punches too.)
We will also be demonstrating a safe, non-toxic way to strip rust
off of old tools. Not really related, but it’s a simple, easy
process that most metalsmiths don’t know about. So that’ll be
burbling away in the corner while we work on the damascene. It takes
a while, but it’s simple and easy. More people should know of it.
The harshest chemical involved is baking powder. Workshop attendees
should bring a small rusty tool to clean up. (pliers, or hammerhead
sized. No anvils.)
Metalwerks interviewed me last week, and did a blog post about the
upcoming workshop, which can be found here:
Come to Boston for the SNAG conference, stay for the gold foil…
If you’re on the Left Coast, then I’ll be doing a two day workshop
on lost wax casting at the Palo Alto Arts Center in the Bay Area on
August 8-9. (Palo Alto, CA)
The real prompt here is to teach their advanced people how to use
the shop’s casting gear. Their long time instructor recently passed
away, and nobody is entirely sure they remember all the details.
Which is where I come in. I’ll be doing a solid day on wax work,
spruing and investing, followed by day two with hand-run burnouts,
and torch melting, as well as centrifuge and vacuum casting, (and
the differences between them) and tricks for getting it all to work
right. We’ll probably do a little cuttlefish casting while we wait
for the burnout, and there will certainly be discussion of homebuilt
and non-industrial casting equipment.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion of the
Hatton Garden Robbery…