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. 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.