The assignment for this was to sink a bowl from a flat sheet of bronze and then solder a foot to it. My original plan for this involved the leaves to swirl up around the side of the bowl and it would sit flat, but after I got it a little bit soldered on there I looked at it from the bottom and it sort of told me what it wanted to be. I wound up soldering a little catch to the inside so it would hang on the wall. For the patina I used liver of sulpher, but in order to make it stick to the bronze I had to copper-flash it, which involves heating it up cherry red and then quenching it. I quenched it in pickle, but I’m not sure if that’s actually necessary, I think it might work if it were quenched in water. After quenching it I painted it erratically with liver of sulpher, waited for it to dry, then did a rough circular sand on the bowl to bring some of the bronze back, then sanded the leaves with a more linear process so they would stand out a little more.
This brooch is based on a lantern flower – as you can see, I’ve included a few in the photos as a reference. It’s a pierced piece of plate bronze (or dixgold, if you want o get technical) with a circle of plate copper carefully soldered to the back and a silver pinback.
This took forever, but I think the most challenging part was putting on the pinbacks. It took a few tries due to the shape of the piece (ie, figuring out where to drop the solder with such a tiny space to work with, drop it on the wrong side of the pinback and that mofo will never latch again.) The first time I got the pin back soldered on properly I put the pin in and suddenly realized that the space between the elbow and the latch was too far and the pin wouldn’t close. The next time I put the pinback on upside down. Then the elbow on backwards. Then the elbow melted partially. Then I put it on backwards again – those things are so fiddly. As a contrast, my second brooch (entry to come) the pin backs went on easy the first time and worked right away, but the pin was misshapen and I had to cut off the pinback in order to rivet it closed. (argh!)
Anyway, all that fuss aside, I am very happy with the way this turned out. I wore it around all last weekend and it is very striking.