Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Humble Beginnings Of Metalwork.




This is a piece I started a while ago in miniature, it is in 1: 12 scale. It is going to be an exact copy of the beautiful antique lanterns (street lights) that grace my neighborhood (Chickasaw Gardens). They have a sentimental meaning to me for reasons in that will become clear in the last part of this post. The photo at the top is the real one in my garden.

A few days ago Karin posted a picture of a gorgeous French iron lantern on her blog. http://karincorbin.blogspot.com/2010/08/architectural-images-from-normandy.html I was going to email these pictures to her but then I thought I would share them with you all.

Most people never see the humble beginnings of a piece of metal work. It is always looks ugly until the very last day when it is either polished or has been given a patina.

This piece is being fabricated out of several different metals I happened to have on hand. They were in scale to the parts I needed to make the faux iron work. It really doesn't matter what metals are used to make it. The piece will be oxidized black eventually. The top to the lantern (that has the light in it) I turned on a lathe into a bell shape. The faceted the sides of the turned piece were filed into an octagon. As you can imagine that is a lot of filing to get that shape! lol I have to carve the Chickasaw Indian's head out of wax and cast that element of the piece.

The real ones in my neighborhood were in a awful state when I moved here. They were broken and missing so many parts. None of them worked anymore. I found one for sale through a blacksmith friend of mine. It had been sold many years ago away from my neighborhood. I bought it and restored it myself. When the the association saw it in my garden they asked me to help them with all the others. They had tried for years but couldn't find anyone that could do the work. I am happy to say they have all been finished now by Robinson Iron. http://www.robinsoniron.com/

11 comments:

  1. That's a fab story! And you are so talented I am not surprised they turned to you for help!:)The latern is really beautiful, can't wait to see it in miniature!:)It is already to see it is going to be a great great lattern:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Magnifique ,je suis totalement Fan

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fantastic! Your talent never ceases to amaze me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will really love to see the completed lantern. It is always such a treat to be able to read your process through your blog. I also love how you have helped your neighbourhood with the restoration of the garden lamp. Perhaps they should dedicate these beautiful lanterns to you :).

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am sure the mini lantern will be as beautiful as the full-scale one, I would love to have half your talent and skills in metalwork. Great story too, agree with Sans, a plaque would be quite fitting!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Catherine, your miniature metalwork is mindblowing. Do you own the kiln and other tools for lost wax casting? I just love seeing your work in progress.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks Ladies!

    The homeowners assocation did offer me a plaque but I declined their offer.

    Tabitha,

    Yes, I do all my own casting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Catherine, What a gorgeous lamp and how fabulous that through you, a little bit of History has been restored in your neighborhood. I really love all of the detail and your miniature lamp will be exquisite! Lucky you to have all that you need to do lost wax methods with metals!! The possibilities are endless with what you can make(and have made). You are a very interesting person!!!!! LOVE your site!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a wonderful gift to your neighbors and neighborhood...and history! The world is literally a better place because of artists like you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Me encanta que se mantengan las cosas de siempre y se respete lo que ha habido en un lugar, por eso te felicito.
    Y querer reproducirla en 1:12 es una idea maravillosa y muy complicada por los materiales que tienes que usar.
    Besos Clara.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Enhorabuena por la iniciativa de conservar la farola y mucho animo para la reproducción de 1/12.
    Besitos, MAY

    ReplyDelete