Monday, March 19, 2012

Fold-Forming Metal

I learned how to form fold metal in college and then had a repeat class with JJ Masuda. It was a wondrous class. When I received my Bead Soup components I was given copper leaf. The leaf had a nice print on it but I didn’t want it to lay flat in the composition I was making for the blog hop so I decided to use a fold forming method. It would have been a shame to ruin the pattern on the front side of the copper form so I went with a very simple bend with a curve. I annealed the metal – folded it where I wanted the crease – and hammered the crease to give it the curve.

African Fulani earrings are done with a fold formed curves. They are made very thin and are very light and beautiful.

The foremost expert on fold forming is Charles Lewton-Brain. Click here for some great pages and descriptions of various fold forming processes. You can also purchase his book here (and I have a copy I love) but he also explains a wide variety of forms on this site.

These earrings are by Susan Dilger and are available on her site. They are a simple but beautiful fold and you can see how it gives the metal more of a flowing form instead of a static flat feel.

To form metal there are a lot of tools you can use but it can be as simple as a vice, ball peen hammer, rawhide mallet, and a torch to anneal the metal. If you haven’t tried this fun and simple way to form metal – go for it! If you have a Facebook account you can even check out a group that is devoted to fold forming and they seem like a great bunch of people with lots of tips and eye candy. Click here to go to that Facebook Group.

Enjoy Yourself and have a great Monday!


Alice said...

Your earrings are beautiful!!!

The African earrings are fascinating! I've been wanting to try this technique for a while now, but as usual, time and money are always an issue.

Thanks for sharing the links!

Sharon Driscoll said...

Thank You and you're welcome Alice.

I like to try and include links so when someone wants to try a new technique they don't have to search for resources.