Thursday, 12 March 2015

Back to Work!!!

So as the title of this post would suggest, I am finally back to work! This week I'm in every other day so I'm not on my feet to much and it's been fine. Today was one of my 'rest' days, and I actually went for a walk even though it was raining. It wasn't a very long walk, and I'm still on crutches, but it made me happy to be outside and hopeful that I will heal faster.

So anyway, back onto the exciting blacksmith stuff...
I finally have a photograph of the finished 'Cornalee' project that I had been working on alongside Jim until I hurt my ankle!!!! This piece is a sculptural welcome sign to a new housing estate which Jim designed using inspiration from patterns found in textiles.

I'll start with some photographs of  the individual components.
Here's what we started with...

These parts were laser cut from sheet metal using Jim's design drawings and sent out to us. I then dressed off any sharp edges and made sure the overall shape was smooth with no sharp angles.
Then I was tasked with bending different sizes of flat bar round these teardrop/flame shapes using the flypress.

This took a while, and the finished pieces took up quite a bit of space although not as much as the rest of the sculpture...

Then Jim designed and made a set of stamps to use in the flypress so we could punch them onto the teardrops. The one shown below is one of my favourites.

I think I've already shown a picture of the sheets that have been stamped so I'll move on to what the base of this piece looks like. It looks deceptively light. Let me assure you there is no one part of this piece which can be considered light!! (Except the bolts...)

So once all the teardrops were stamped, everything started to come together.

This was probably the most exciting point because until then all the components were separate so you couldn't really get a feel for what the finished piece was really going to look like. I also realised very quickly just how big and heavy it was going to be...

So after this stage all the other parts were welded together and put into position and finally we set the whole thing up...

One of the most challenging things to photograph while in the workshop!

Jim designed this piece so that it could be split into three main pieces for galvanizing, painting and of course moving. The base has two pieces of flat bar on the top which are bolted on. The flowers (that's what I'm going to call them from now on) are welded onto the flat bar. So two are on one side and three on the other, which can be taken off by taking the bolts off.

So they could be stored outside the workshop to save space...and then this happened...

Just a little bit of snow in the morning which turned to this...

I may have gotten a bit too excited about the snow, so I feel I should apologise to Jim again. I love Winter, I can't help it!!
Anyway, the next thing to be made was the final piece for the base. I got some more use of the plasma cutter and then it was back to bending flat bar.

These pieces were going to be fitted underneath the base like this...

However that changed slightly to this...

Which I think worked really well.
So the last thing to go on was the lettering which Jim welded on and then sent everything off to be galvanized. I didn't see it go off or come back because I was off work but Jim got it cleaned, painted and put together and it looks incredible.

So there it is.
I feel very privileged to have worked on it! Hopefully we will be installing it soon so there will be more photographs to follow.

That's about it for now but we've got a few new projects on the go so I will keep you posted of what's going on. 
Take care!

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