Christine Cox

Metalsmith: Avoid Sanding Low Spots In Ring Rims
(A typically occasional metalsmithing series by Christine Cox)

There’s a point in every metalsmith’s early career where they realize that they are tired of compensating for their mistakes, tired of making something that is the best they can do, but still not quite what was pictured. There’s a desire to make a piece from beginning to end, exactly how it’s pictured in the mind – but a small gap in technical skills gets in the way.

Here’s an example of a tiny technical error that affected my work. The worst part is that I knew better.

If you’ve ever sanded a ring of some kind, whether a bezel, a finger ring, the side walls of a box, or even the rim of a domed disk, chances are, you’ve had to deal with having sanded a low spot. There’s one particular low area that prevents the entire edge from being even. Since metal is stubborn and won’t grow when we need it to, the only solution is to file the entire edge down to the height of the low spot, which can have an effect on every aspect of your project’s design from that point forward. You start compromising on your original vision.

How much better to prevent the low spot to begin with? See the photo at right showing the two bezels? I was sanding the edges to make them the same height and I got lazy. I started sanding back and forth, as we’ve all done when we haven’t been taught otherwise (and some of us, even when we have).

Do this little experiment. Picture a large figure eight on some flat surface near you and slowly rub one finger along it, noting the shift of the pressure on the pad of your finger from front to back and side to side as you complete the course of the symbol.

The same situation happens when you’re sanding. If you sand in a figure eight pattern, you subtly shift your weight from one point to another as you sand along the shape, and therefore the rim stays even. If you just sand back and forth, you’re going to sand a low spot into the rim because you’re putting weight on only limited areas.

It’s such a small change in work habit, but realizing that the change needs to be made is exactly the point where we reach, stretch, and become better smiths and produce better quality work.

 

Volcano Arts

Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

6th to 15th c – Parchment codex is dominant form of book, though it was and has been used both before and after this primary period.

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

2016vaexclamation300

Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

Clean white thread

Put talc (baby powder works) on your hands to prevent finger oils from darkening light-colored sewing thread.

Written by Christine Cox
Sponsored by Volcano Arts

2016vaexclamation300

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

From at least the 6th century – Quire (what binders today call a signature/section/gathering) numerals added, either at time of writing manuscript or immediately after, to aid assembly for binding – usually in center of lower margin of either 1st or last page of each quire.

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

2016vaexclamation300

Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

6th c—Insular Majuscule developed in Ireland from Half-Uncial; innovations include ligatures, creative stretching and shaping of letters and wedged or triangular serifs. Pen held almost horizontally.

For less important material and for glosses, Irish scribes developed Insular miniscule; included ascenders, descenders and serifs. Pen was held diagonally for speed.

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

2016vaexclamation300

Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

By the 6th century—Uncial script (majuscule) becoming highly artificialized and Half-Uncial beginning to take on characteristics of lowercase letters; more ascenders and descenders. Half-Uncial begins to flourish and remains popular until 9th century.

Find out more on Wikipedia: Uncial.

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

2016vaexclamation300

Bookbinding, Metalsmithing and Glass
We have the tools and supplies you need for your projects and classes
www.volcanoarts.com

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports (Timeline Project)

6th Century: The codex format (folded, hand-written pages, sewn together) is becoming established throughout Byzantine, Greek, North African and Middle Eastern regions.

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research.

www.volcanoarts.com

Tag Cloud