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Preying Mantis Sculpture


Dick Bonham

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Hi,

It has been a while since I have posted anything new. I have finally recovered from my extensive shoulder and bicep surgery and can get back to work. It has been ten months since I tore up my arm. Here is my new piece. It is a life size Preying Mantis (the body 3'' long) and Black Eyed Susan's. I incorporated a piece I started before my injury and didn't complete. Now it is finished. The piece is created from a hundred or more separate pieces brazed and soldered together. The base is black walnut. Total dimensions including the base are 7" x 6 1/2" x 6" high.

Dick

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The tension and sense of movement in the closeup, middle photo, draws me in to see the mantis, thinking that it will just move its head a little to look out at me! The movement that my eyes follow along the abdomen, to leg positions and up to the head are so well placed, it is a delight to see this!

 

Welcome back to the working side of recovery! You've still got it in you to make these amazing things!

 

Janel

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Dick,

 

Very nice work. I need to look at some of your old post and see if I can figure out your process.

 

I've finished a tool handle in ebony and a set of winged grips but my skill level is still wanting. I'm amazed at how much time it takes to finish something but love every minute of the process.

 

Thank you for sharing. Someday I'll have the bravery to show my work. The level of work I see here is inspirational but intimidating.

 

John

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Thank you for the nice comments.

John,

Check out the "Hummingbird" tutorial.

Jim,

When I do a sculpture that entails many pieces, in this case well over a hundred, I do several drawings so I have a good idea of the placement of the solder joints. I also have to be aware of the size of the pieces and how much heat I will need to solder or braze them together. As you know small pieces melt rather quickly! I also build the piece in sections. When it is possible I attach pins and drill holes to hold small pieces together. I first braze (using a paste braze from Rio Grande) as many parts at one time as possible so I only have to bring the pieces to braze temp. once. The brazing paste does not cause the pieces to "skate" like silver solder. The pieces seldom move when the paste melts. I can braze quite a few small pieces and not have to worry about them. From the brazing paste I move to hard, medium and soft silver solders. I pin (having brazed the pins) everything I can when silver soldering. I detail each piece with the NSK air hand piece and the Lindsay engraving tool. I assemble everything then work it again. The process sound more complex than it really is. The process sounds slow but I can fabricate a sculpture in a fraction of the time that it would take to sculpt, cast and finish the same piece.

Dick www.erbonham.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unbelievable work Dick, it would seem your injuries are mended very well. Did you tell the Doc how to do the repairs? lol

maybe to You it may sound easy but to me it sounds and Looks very complicated and exact. How can you take metals soldered together and create a Malicious looking being about to get an easy meal? I think you left a Lot out! :huh:

Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

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