FOLD FORMING METAL
My copper bowls are made using a process known as “Fold Forming”, which was conceived by world renowned sculptor Charles Lewton-Brain. The copper is annealed (heated) to soften it, then folded, formed and hammered into a wide variety of shapes. This process is often repeated several times to achieve a desired shape. Each piece is created using a single sheet of copper, and they have no seams or solder. After forming, each bowl is given its own patina and decorative embellishment resulting in every bowl being unique. One interesting aspect of the Fold Forming process is that it can be scaled down, and lately I’ve been using the process to make silver jewelry.
THE ART OF SHIBUICHI
Shibuichi is a metal alloy of silver and copper dating back to the 10th century. Traditionally, it was used as a decorative metal for Samurai swords using 25% silver and 75% copper although other ratios are used, and the alloy is still known as Shibuichi.
My first encounter with Shibuichi was in a book on how to apply various finishes to metal. I was drawn to it because it can be patinated in a variety of colors, and I enjoy the challenge of creating jewelry with a unique finish.
Experimenting with various chemical ingredients results in a variety of colors and finishes that allow me to indulge my “mad scientist” urge. The metal surface can also be heated to near melting which results in a textured pattern similar to a reticulated finish.