Jump to content

Aduki Leaf Pin


Jim Kelso

Recommended Posts

This is a project I outlined on the Knifemakers' Forum, but some of you probably didn't see it and it's a way to get this section going.

 

Here is a photo of the finished piece in 22k gold, copper, shibuichi(85%copper/15% silver) and shakudo(96%copper/ 4%gold). The shakudo is on the far left and is black.

 

The finished piece measures 2.85" across.

post-4-1106447122_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a shot of the original pencil drawing, a mylar pattern and the 22K gold sheet sawn to shape. The gold was about 18gB&S(.40" or 1.02mm). I rolled it so it was a little thicker on the stem side to have more thickness to work with there. I didn't want the stem too thin. I did the contour forming with hammer and wooden punch into soft pitch.

post-4-1106447541_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This shows the copper(left) and shibuichi segments soldered into the gold. You can see that I came close to melting the shibuichi(bubbling). This is because it's melting point is lower than the other metals and lower than I am used to dealing with. It held together though and I just filed and polished the bubbles away.

 

I soldered the copper piece first as it was the biggest. In sequential soldering you try to do the pieces that require the most heat(temperature and area), first. This translates to less likelihood of messing up a previous solder. I soldered the copper piece in before I sawed out the space for the shibuichi segment. I didn't want to do them at the same time as it's too much to keep your eyes on. :)

 

A couple of things to notice. I purposefully didn't flow the solder to fully fill the joints, because I wanted to chase(forge) the copper and shibuichi tight against the gold with as little solder between as possible. This is because even though it's gols solder, you would still see a color difference in the finished piece. In this photo you can see where I've chased the copper against the gold(punch marks). In the photo above of the finished piece, you can see a few little areas where the gold solder showsat the top of the copper.

post-4-1106448617_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone has questions feel free to jump in at any time.

 

In this photo all the pieces are soldered in place and the copper(middle pink piece) has been chased(punched) against the gold. There are still some gaps that look worse than they are because the copper edges are lower than the gold, creating shadow. If there is solder(lighter colored gold in the joints) showing, I engraved it down then chased the insert metal over it to try to hide the solder as much as possible.

 

Also, here you can see how I've started to chase the definition between the leaves.

post-4-1106492016_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This shot gives you an idea how the carving of the veins progressed starting with penciled lines

as toward the top. I spent a lot of time getting the layout just right with the taper and curves the way I wanted them, and paying a lot of attention to where the veins join each other.

 

The basic sequence was 1) pencil drawing, 2) engrave a light line, 3) engrave a heavier line

making corrections for curve and direction, 4) chisel out relief, 5) do more chasing of inserts if gold solder appears, 6) smooth contours with filing and rotary polishing with rubberized abrasive and fiber wheels, 7)chase texture.

post-4-1106492629_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim,

 

This is fascinating! Thanks for the tutorial.

 

I am not familiar with some of the terms you use, having no background in metals. I appreciate the little descriptions that accompany the words with which I am unfamiliar.

 

I also like the use of the watermark on your images.

 

Janel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Janel. I hope I'm being descriptive enough.

 

This photo shows a chisel cutting relief away from the veins. You can see above the chisel a

reflective area that's been cut away.

 

I use a power assisted hammer-handpiece called GraverMax made by GRS. It basicly powers the chisel through the metal with air impulses through a handpiece in which the graver is chucked. At some point I want to do a tutorial on the use of this type of tool. Everything in time.

post-4-1106533469_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This photo shows all the carving finished and most of the texturing done with the punch as shown.

Still have to carve the stem, polish and patinate.

 

I'm also posting a photo of the device I use to hold work of this type. It's a pitch bowl(GRS) held in an engraver's ball(also GRS). The pitch softens under low heat and then hardens to hold the work securely.

post-4-1106614366_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Janel. By the way, you can see Don and our friend Gene McLean behind the pitchbowl in the photo above.

 

After all the carving and chasing are done, the next step is the final polish then the patination.

I use a traditional Japanese technique with a horsehair brush(migaki bake) and powdered abrasive(800 grit silicon carbide) for the polish. Traditionally the Japanese would have used charcoal powder, with the brush, but the sc works well for this grade of finish and is a lot less messy.(don't breath the powder!)

 

The powder is mixed with water to make a slurry which is charged into the brush. The brush with slurry is run over the piece in tight circles in a shallow container. In this photo I am working on a different piece, but the technique is the same.

post-4-1106622975_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, here is the pitchbowl. How do you guys add two photos in one post?      :)

Hi Jim, Very nice peice (all your work is).

Have you ever tried using Plastiform in stead of pitch? It's a low melting temp. plastic that's reusable, and much less messy than pitch. It's a little firmer than pitch as well. Thanks for the tutorial. Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bob. No I haven't tried the plastiform. I think Tom Hermann mentioned it too. I'd like to give it a try although I've gotten used to the pitch and like it's peculiarities.

 

Sorry I've been out of commission the last couple of days.

 

I'm going to try to post two images at once: 1) is the chemicals used in the patination of the pin.

These are the proprietary Japansese rokusho and copper-sulphate(cu/so4). These are ground together in a specific ratio depending on the alloy(ies) to be patinated, but usually close to one to one.

 

The other shot shows the piece(in this case a copper frog) in a 2 minute bath of daikon radish juice, just prior to immersion in the rokusho/cus04 bath.

post-4-1106944625_thumb.jpg

post-4-1106944834_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I knew someone was going to ask. :) No one has been able to definitively tell me why it's done. There are a couple of things that make sense. One is that the daikon juice is an effective degreaser and also it is quite alkaline and perhaps very slightly etches the metal surface giving the patina a little better chance. This technique is very finicky and I've had zero success at demonstrating it in public, so I'm happy doing everything that may contribute to success. Cleanliness is absolutely necessary for success as is a correct polish.

 

There are other little tricks that I will try to relate at a later time.

 

Here is the last photo showing a similar piece in the bath held in a copper basket. The boiling takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more. Copper usually takes longer than the other alloys. Usually if there is no color coming in 5 minutes something is wrong.

post-4-1106960059_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Janel. Yes, I do it under a fume hood. The vapors aren't terribly toxic, but I try to limit my intake of chemical fumes in general. At this point I'm valuing every brain cell. :)

 

The two chemicals are put into distilled water. Also it should be a copper pot. No "stainless" steel.

I understand glass will work, but I think the copper helps the process. I find that every little thing makes a difference. If anyone gets to the point of actually wanting to do this process, I can supply more details, or if enough people want, I can do a more detailed thread.

 

here's a tsuba on display in the Lethal Elegance exhibition at the Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston, using basicly the same alloys of shakudo, shibuichi, copper and gold which would have been patinated in essentially the same manner as my pin.

post-4-1106967161_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim,

I just ordered the book "Japanese Patinas" by Eitoku Sugimori that you recomended. I am looking foreward learning how to do patinas in the traditional manner. That is an area I need to know more about. I cheat and use mostly bought patinas from "Jax". They give some nice colors but little variety.

 

Dick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you'e getting some very nice colors with the JAX, Dick. I use them for certain effects also. I think what I like about the Japanese alloy/patination scheme is that it is an effective, predictable system they worked out over a couple centuries to achieve specific colors that I find very appealing. It took me a while to pin down the details, with many thanks to Ford Hallam, but it's been worth it. It is an earthy, astringent palette for the most part, but to me it works incredibly well with the detail work I like to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see that Reactive Metal Studios is carrying Rokusho now. 100 gms will last you a while unless you're doing large pieces. They also have a downloadable(PDF) set of instructions by Phil Baldwin that is a handy, concise accurate run-through. They also carry shakudo, shibuichi and mokume.

They also have cupric sulphate which you need for the classic patination.

 

Reactive Metals

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...