Sophomore, Andrew Battles, created this functioning hammer that can be used inside the metals studio, or just a nice display of his talents. He just began as an independent study and is just beginning his work in the metals department. Below are pictures from different angles of this polished hammer. In the Student Work, Andrew’s hammer is shown in greater depth.
The process of riveting was recently added to the “Techniques” page on the menu bar!
Below, are some stones and assorted metal used in the department. The stones are organized by color and can be used in almost all projects. The wire spools are great for design and in the basic assembly of projects.
Many people see the beautiful artwork that comes out of the metal department, but very few have seen the studio and all it’s components. Displayed are a few elements of the room. Photos taken by Abby Grattan, a student in the metal department.
A few of Hannah’s metal projects have been highlighted on our page under the ‘Independent Work’ page and “Hannah Wilson’. Make sure to check it out!
Nauset Metals is now on Tumblr. Follow our new Tumblr blog at http://www.tumblr.com/blog/nausetmetals!
Taking a drive or doing some chores in the Orleans area? Take some time and stop by the Orleans Snow Library and take a look at our most recent work from the Nauset Art Metals department! We have works ranging from first year students to senior independent studies! On display we have Jewelry 1 earrings, rings, and metal of honors! You can also see independent work that includes chains, pendents, rings, earrings, bracelets, and even a perfume bottle! Walk up to the front entrance, through the double doors, and you’ll see our work right away!
Thank you from all of us at the Nauset Art Metals department!
Watch here to see Jetta Cook, Sophomore, go through the process of corrugating and then pinching a piece of copper!
For most, everyone loves to finish a project and start another one right away. Carlisle Wheeler, sophomore, did just that on her medal of honor in Mr. Craven’s Jewelry I class. ” I couldn’t wait to begin my medal of honor once i completed my earrings because I wanted to take on a much bigger and complex idea” she said. Carlisle decided to cut out a horse out of copper and rivet it onto a horseshoe cutout. You’d think that was it, but attached on the back was a picture frame she cut out that had a cover piece on top and could rotate out to see what was inside. This was a big task to take on for a Jewelry I student. “It got to be very frustrating at times trying to rivet so many pieces of metal onto a little pin but I was very happy with the end result” she said upon finishing.
When’s the last time you saw someone write with an old fashion feather pen? Bringing together two different styles Silias Watkins, Sophomore, decided to create a handmade pen. Using a copper base, Silias is in the process of finishing his new pen. By coming up with this idea he’s able to incorporate new techniques that he has learned to create a pen that looks modern with an old fashioned twist. Watch here to see Silias talk about his process, ideas, and even take a look at the pen so far!
The results for the 2013 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards are in! We would like to congratulate our students who have won gold keys, silver keys and honorable mentions! Individual works as well as entire portfolios have been awarded to our students.
“Avian Paradise Pin,” Jetta Cook, Sophomore, Honorable Mention
“Mermaid’s Treasure,” Aria Conte, Senior, Gold Key
“Jewelry Portfolio,” Ellie Garside, Senior, Gold Key
“Braided Gem,” Kenneth Granlund, Senior, Honorable Mention
“True Teacher,” Katie Hannon, Freshmen, Silver Key
“Guepard,” Charlotte Miller, Junior, Silver Key
“Railroad Spike Knife,” Walter Rowell, Sophomore, Gold Key
“Morgan Dollar Locket,” Walter Rowell, Sophomore, Gold Key
“Dragon Scale,” Remy Tivnan, Senior, Honorable Mention
“Lotus Locket,” Silias Watkins, Sophomore, Silver Key
“Seagull Earrings,” Silias Watkins, Sophomore, Honorable Mention
It’s that time of year again! The Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have become a very important competition for the Nauset art department. Over the years, our students have been awarded various gold and silver keys, as well as honorable mentions. We are very proud of our students and are excited to show you the finished works.
Some say that high school students look past the small things, but not these ones! Nate and Morgan, Juniors, took their Medal of Honor project very seriously. They wanted to rightly show what their fathers meant to them. They took very important details of their lives and creatively put them into a work of art. Watch here as they explain their Medal of Honor!
After finishing his first small paring knife Walter, with permission, decided to create another knife using a different technique. He decided to forge his knife out of an old railroad spike. Watch here to see Walter Rowell, Sophomore, begin his forging process!
Today in the metals studio students are practicing their annealing and soldering skills! Hannah Pells, Junior, is creating a small silver box clasp for a bracelet and Sam Pickard, Junior, is also working on a very unique bracelet.
Nauset Metals is always striving to find new ways to show ourselves to the public, so the next step was to create a YouTube channel!
Here are our first two videos!
Hannah Pells soldering her box clasp!
Sam Pickard soldering his intricate bracelet!
As we begin to stumble into November our independent studies are working hard to finish their pieces for the Rio Grande Emerging Artist contest. Cassie Williams, Senior, is in the midst of completing her very first pendant. She created the design last year in the hopes of making it then, but with the end of the school year rush it just wasn’t an option. This contest gave Cassie the perfect opportunity to make her pendant!
When her materials had arrived she began quickly! She decided she would make her pendant out of Niobium and Silver, then she would set a 8.9 mm Blue Topaz stone. She knew this wouldn’t be an easy, but she took on the challenge!
She started by cutting her piece of niobium into a circle using a jeweler’s saw and then filed and sandblasted it. When that part was done she anodized it to create the heavy purple effect. Once the niobium piece was completed she used a dapping block to cut out a smaller silver circle to eventually rivet to her piece of niobium. To hold her stone in place she has to fabricated a bezel out of silver sheet because her stone was so large there was available no tubing in the needed size. Before she soldered the bezel to the silver circle she drilled holes in the niobium and the silver circles so she could clean the stone once the two pieces were riveted together. After soldering the bezel to the silver circle she cleaned up the piece by using scotch bright and a burnisher.
To rivet the pieces she first had to drill two holes in the silver and one hole in the niobium. Once that was completed she set her stone using the flex shaft. Cassie decided she would use all tube rivets on her pendant. After this her next step was to rivet one hole to connect the niobium and silver and then to drill the second hole through the niobium. Next she made the second rivet to connect the niobium and silver again.
Once she attaches the pendant a long necklace using a unique jump ring her pendant will be finished. All the holes will be filled, the edges clean ed and the metals shine, her piece will be ready for judging and ready to be worn!
Into the second month of school the metals studio has been full with many different projects. Sean Mahoney, a Junior, decided to be extra productive and work on two projects at the same time. Along with fabricating a bike, he decided to attempt wire twist mokume. He has been working on this piece for almost two weeks. Although this process hasn’t taken too much time he has put a lot of thought and dedication into it.
He began with two pieces of wire; copper and brass. Once he annealed it he twisted them together tightly in a clockwise motion. After this he cut the twisted piece in half he and then put the two pieces on top of each other and soldered the ends together. The next step he took was to twist the soldered wire together counter-clockwise. Next Sean soldered the whole piece together so it would flow in between the two metals.
His next step was forging. He used the rolling mill and a hammer to bring the two metals closer together. To make sure these two pieces stayed together he soldered them together again to make sure it would flow to reinforce the connections. After this step he filed enough metal away to brightly expose the copper, brass and silver solder. Once that was completed he put it through the rolling mill again and then annealed it. Using the ring mandrel he bent the piece into a ring.
Just finishing up his wire twist mokume gane ring, he will now begin using a new technique called laminate mokume gane. Going through the process of wire twist mokume it gave Sean a background to begin his new project.
Sean is not the only student using this technique. Katie Sullivan (Senior) has created a wire twist mokume ring that, when finished, will look like a snake. Here is her piece so far…
Whether you are a Jewelry or Art Metal student one of the first tasks in the class is to cut several different shapes out of a small piece of brass. This year Mr.Craven added a twist for the students who have taken one of his classes before. Their task was not to only cut out shapes using a jewelers saw, but to somehow make a piece 3-D. The outcomes were amazing! They ranged from birds, spirals, spiders and crickets, and sailboats. Some were more abstract than others, but all in all it showed off the true creativity of the more advanced students!
With all the buzz of the new iPhone 5, Walter Rowell (Sophomore) decided to bring his iPhone 4 to the next level. Starting the first day of school he began to make an iPhone case out of copper, bronze and mokume. After he measured, cut, soldered and filed the backing piece, he connected a piece of mokume using three flattened ball head rivets and one tube rivet to the backing piece. When that was completed he lightly etched a tree on to the back of the case. When the back was completed he needed something to hold the phone so it wouldn’t fall out of the case, so Walter decided to use a piece of bronze that he rolled a design on. He connected the bronze piece in the bottom left front corner using a tube rivet. Being both aesthetically pleasing and keeping his iPhone safe, Walter has already started his second case!
On the first day of school its hard to introduce new art metal techniques to a class that has never even stepped into the studio before. Instead of jumping right into work Mr.Craven gave the students a team building, mind bending exercise. He themed it off the show “Chopped.” If you have never seen the reality show “Chopped,” it is originally a show where chef’s are given the task to make four dishes out of random ingredients. In the Nauset Art Metals themed “Chopped,” the students were separated into five groups. Each group was given the same “ingredients.” They were given an envelope, two paper clips, two thumb tacks, two brads, one piece of monofilament, a small piece of mesh, three cut out copper shapes, a small piece of paper, with scissors and pliers for their only tools. Depending on what group they were in they either had to design and fabricate a bracelet, ring, necklace (with a pendant,) or a broach.
This exercise wasn’t just to gain team building skills, but to get their imaginations roaring! In jewelry and art metal, design work and imagination are very important parts that each student must incorporate into the pieces they create.
Once the groups finished their assigned piece a member of the group had to model the piece and another member had to explain the process and what was most difficult. When every group was done talking, the Independent Studies had to choose a winner. Although the final winning team didn’t receive a physical prize, they won a hearty round of applause from their classmates and a great start to their year in the studio!
Winning second place in the B3 class, group four! Modeled by Isabel Souza
After an eventful school year and a relaxing summer, it’s about time for a recap! Last school year the Nauset Metals department, and its students, were awarded some high and well deserved achievements! Many students, across all grades, submitted their work into the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. Our graduated Seniors all together earned two gold keys, one silver key, and two honorable mentions. These were awarded to Nick Hoffman-Klauke and John Erickson. Not only seniors were singled out for there accomplishments. Hannah Pells, current Junior, took home a gold key. This competition was a great success for the Nauset Metals department and a shining moment for the winning students.
Next on our agenda, Fine and Applied Arts Night! For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is an annual art show at Nauset Regional High School that showcases the artistic talents of all participating students at the high school. After hours upon hours of set up of the jewelry, metals projects, bowls, and bikes, the show was on! Walking around the show you could hear the amazement in the visitors voices looking at the work. You could hear statements from “Young high school students made this?!” and “I would buy this kind of work in a store!” That was the night that really showed the students what they were working so hard for. All in all, Fine and Applied Arts Night was a complete success!
Last, but not least, the final project by two of our finest seniors. John Erickson and Nick Hoffman-Klauke created an amazing kaleidoscope that was gifted to the school and is housed on campus. Even after there last day of school came and gone, these boys came back to work and finish their piece. Starting with a sewer pipe, they handmade and installed this working and breathtaking kaleidoscope. Although both of them have graduated and moved onto higher forms of education, there Nauset Metals legacy will live on forever.
So four women walked into the Art Metals workshop… Just kidding, this isn’t a joke, but it is true! This past Mother’s Day weekend the Cape Cod Museum of Art and Jody Craven, together, created a ring making workshop that was done at Nauset Regional High School in the Art Metals workshop. In two days, six hours each, those four women made their own ring or two rings that they could walk away with. The jewelry background of these women ranged from working in their own studio at home to only having worn rings before. Between Jody Craven and his four helpers, John Erickson, Walter Rowell, Nick Hoffman-Klaucke, and Aria Conte, they helped and taught these women how to fabricate their own rings. Since the workshop was two days it took many steps. In the two days the women had the opportunity to make one ring with just a texture and one ring with a texture and a small diamond setting. First, the women had to weigh out their silver and then Jody Craven melted the silver in the crucible and poured the hot metal into the ingot mold. Once the silver cooled down it then had to be forged and annealed repeatedly until it was run through the rolling mill to create the long, flat piece of silver ring stock. That was the end of day one. Starting bright and early, the women sized their rings and chose a texture to put on their rings. They could either make a hammer texture or use the rolling mill. When the texture was done they formed their rings into a “U” shape so they could be soldered. With the one-on-one help from the students and Mr. Craven, the women had soldered their first ring together. On the second ring, with the help of the students, the women set a small diamond. After final finishing (sanding, using the pumice wheel, possibly using a patina, and burnishing) the four women successfully made six beautiful rings that will last for generations.
Kenny Granlund, Junior, fabricated this ring from twisted fine silver wire, sterling silver, and a London blue topaz stone.
For those of you who don’t attend Nauset Regional High School or don’t know what an “Independent Study” is, it is an opportunity for students with previous metals experience to work independently where an emphasis is placed on researching new techniques in the metal medium. Walter Rowell and Silas Watkins both started the year freshmen year in Art Metal 1. Walter also took Jewelry 1. Both of these young men started their Independent Studies at the beginning of term three, the second half of the year. Each student showed a lot of interest with working in metal and wanted to work at a more advanced level. With the permission the Mr. Craven, their parents, and their guidance counselor they began work right away.
The Freshmen Q & A with Silas Watkins!
Nauset Metals: “What did you first enjoy about Art Metals?”
Silas Watkins: “I liked being able to build these different projects and say that I made them myself.”
NM: “What projects from Art Metal 1 did you enjoy the most and why?”
SW: “I enjoyed the fish project where we had to cut out and file a fish then stamp on the scales. I liked this project the best because it produced the best product.”
NM: “Why did you want to take an Independent Study?”
SW: “I wanted to take an Independent Study to further my scholastic career in Art Metals.”
NM: “What project are you working on now?”
SW: “I am making a round domed locket out of copper with brass bails with the design of a lotus flower cut out of it. Although this project has not taken a particularly long time so far, it has given me a few difficulties in cutting the lotus design out.”
NM: “What do you hope to gain from your Independent Study?”
SW: “I hope to be able to make jewelry for the people I love and gain the knowledge of soldering, casting, etching, and engraving.”
Freshmen Q & A with Walter Rowell!
Nauset Metals: “What did you first enjoy about Art Metals?”
Walter Rowell: ” I liked being able to work with my hands on projects and I’ve always been fond of working with metals.”
NM: “What project from Art Metal 1 did you enjoy the most and why?”
WR: “I enjoyed making the spiral with the frame because it had the most steps and it was the most challenging.”
NM: “What was your favorite project from Jewelry 1 and why?”
WR: “My favorite project was making the ring because that project was much more difficult and challenging because of the bezel setting and the tricky soldering.”
NM: ” Why did you want to take an Independent Study?”
WR: “I wanted to take an Independent Study so I could have more time in the Art Metals studio, make whatever I wanted, and learn more about different types of methods in Art Metals.”
NM: ” What project are you working on now?”
WR: “I’m making a corrugated box with a rounded dome using the hydraulic box. The solder was giving me some minor difficulties as well as running a bit of my palm through the corrugator After getting all bandaged up, I went right back to work.”
NM: “What do you hope to gain from your Independent Study?”
WR: “I hope to gain more time and knowledge by spending the time learning and working while in the Independent Study. It will help me broaden my Art Metal and Jewelry horizon.”
Since these two boys are only freshmen they have three more bright years of high school and Art Metals ahead of them. Best of luck to you both from the entire Nauset Metals team!
Ever since the completion of my first titanium tension ring, I have loved the simplicity and the challenge of tension set pieces. I love the precision required to set a stone between two prongs of hardened metal. I love the simplicity of the design; only two pure materials, stone and metal. No solder, rivets, or bezels. The metals own strength is all that’s needed to complete the union. I decided to attempt a pair of tension earrings because I wanted to explore more options for tension settings. The process begins pretty simply; four gauge titanium wire is cold forged over an anvil into a strip, this is the first part of the hardening process that will eventually hold the stone firmly in place. After the strip is prepared, it is cut to the desired length and then folded over using a hammer and anvil. After the metal is folded once it is flattened out and refolded, this process adds additional tension and is the first step where the shape of the earrings starts to emerge. Once the earrings are symmetric in their geometry they must be filed and ground down to a smoother finish. The forging and shaping process leaves the earrings exceptionally rough, to a point where it is nearly impossible to form them to their final level of symmetry without first acquiring a better finish. Once cleaned with files and some rough sandpaper the two earrings are lightly hammered over the anvil to adjust their form to the final shape. The stones were then set. This process is the most difficult as it requires symmetrical beds for the rubies to sit in. To do this, a heart bur is used to dig a small well for the stone to sit in. The earrings are then firmly secured in a bench vice and pried open just long enough to slip in the stones. This process is repeated until the stones sit perfectly in place. From this point the earrings must be taken to a fine finish in order to be colored in a process known as anodizing. This finishing process was done first with files and then sandpapers of ever increasing fineness until there are no surface blemishes; they are then taken to the rouge and Tripoli wheels for a final luster.
The anodizing process can be used to accurately control the coloring of reactive metals such as titanium and niobium. Existing on the surface of both metals is a thin oxide layer. The thickness of this layer determines the wavelengths of the light that is refracted, thus the thickness determines the color. Anodizing controls the voltage applied to the piece to control the layer of oxide that forms and controls the color. These earrings were taken to 93 volts of current to achieve their color.
The first time I walked into the art metal room I thought to myself, “What am I doing here..my creativity level only pertains to theater and music.” For my earrings I really wanted to make something unique. Something I could look at and say, “Wow, I made this.” That would be a huge accomplishment. For making a pair of earrings, Mr. Craven gave each student two pieces of silver. The earrings were fairly small so you had to be very precise in each cut. The students had to lay out their design and each stroke of the jewelers saw could either make or break your piece. I was so nervous and was terrified my waves would be crooked or one earring would be a lot smaller than the other, that’s why it’s easier to make abstract things rather than perfect replicas of each other. The silver had to be polished with tripoli and rouge, and in the end cleaned with a scotch bright finish. Then using the drill press I had to drill a small hole at the top of the earring to fit the ear wire through. The final step of the earrings was to create the ear wire. We practiced on copper wire first, using the third hand and the torch, we created a ball at one end of the ear wire so the earring wouldn’t fall off. To finish of the ear wire we used pliers to form the shape of the wire. I felt so confident that I could make something this different without messing it up, for the most part.
The second project we were assigned was the Medal of Honor. For this project we had to pick someone who was important to us and honor them through that piece. We were able to choose between a pin or a pendant, and the project had to incorporate a non-metal material. I chose to honor my older sister. We’ve had a long road, but she’s my best friend and I love her. I guess it was my way of showing how much I care about her. For this piece my design meant a lot to me. I chose to incorporate a lamb and Hebrew lettering. I chose the lamb for sentimental reasoning. When I was younger I couldn’t say my sisters name so I called her ‘Ba,’ the sound a little lamb makes. It meant a lot to me. The layout of the design was the first step. A student not only has to focus on the front of the piece, but the back as well. Each piece of the design had to be cut out individually, which probably took the longest. I used copper, brass, and bronze as my major pieces with a small bit of fine silver. Everything had to be placed onto the chosen backing piece. I chose blood wood, which has a darker mahogany red hint. It’s extremely beautiful. We had to use different textures and gages (which is thickness of the metal). I got to use the rolling mill to transfer textures onto a piece of metal. Once all the pieces were ready, it was time to assemble and rivet. We were taught multiple techniques when it comes to rivets: flush, tube, ball head, and then the normal rivets. We had a minimum of 6 rivets to be completed, but we’re expected to produce more than that. A few of my pieces actually move on the backing piece. The Hebrew lettering slides down to reveal stamped lettering. On the front, the girl and her hat both move from side to side. I’m actually quite proud of this piece.
The last project the class was given was our ring. I wear too many rings as it is, it has to be my favorite jewelry. Rings can just be so incredibly different on shape and design. It’s amazing. Designing an original ring is quite difficult. You usually want to make something unique, something no one else has seen before. That’s slightly hard to do. Every time you design something, it looks like someone’s already done it. I finally chose the design I felt looked best and went to work. The first step of making a ring is retrieving all the correct measurements. After measuring you will be given the correct size of metal from Mr.Craven. If you had anything you needed to cut or drill out of your metal, that would have been done then. After you have cut everything out, you needed to shape your ring using a ring mandrel. There are various shapes when it comes to Mandrels; round, square, ect. Shaping the ring has to be done correctly or else it will cause your seam to be uneven. By placing your thumb directly on the metal where it lines up with the mandrel and pinching the two ends with your fingers it will cause the metal to form into a long “U” shape. After this shape is formed, by taking half round to flat pliers, the metal needs to stay in that “U.” The two ends need to be brought together perfectly, that’s your seam line for soldering. Soldering is tricky at first, but once you get the correct technique down, it’s pretty awesome. The steps to soldereing are as followed; first apply flux (a paste to keep metal from overheating) to your piece, you would then cut two small pieces of hard solder. We use the hard solder because we only have one solder seam. It gets softer as the metal has more seams. Once the solder flows the ring is placed in the pickle solution and then placed in water. Next, you must place the ring back on the ring mandrel and hammer it till its the desired shape. The next piece that needs to be created is the bezel. A bezel is what surrounds your chosen stone. After I placed and set my stone in the bezel using a triangle scraper, sticky wax, bezel pusher, and burnisher. Lastly I had to use the Flex Shaft to pumice my bezel, this step really made my ring shine. Through all the hard work and knowledge I have gained I am truly proud of myself for the work that I have completed.
When I finished my first project of the semester, I knew the next thing I wanted to make was a spinning ring. I wasn’t sure yet how I wanted it to look, or what metals I wanted to incorporate, but I knew it would be a spinning ring. After talking to Mr. Craven I decided I wanted to make this ring by soldering on rails instead of flaring the inside ring. He warned me that it would take a lot of soldering, but I was ready for the challenge. After looking through some jewelry books, I decided I wanted to use granulation on my ring. I made about fifteen designs before I came up with one I really liked, which would be a ring with wavy lines cut out, and random granules in between. I started by making the inside ring, which was just a plain band, which I then measured the outside size with using the ring sizer to find how large my spinning part of the ring would have to be. Once I had the measurements I cut out the waves, and began to read about granulation. I first had to make the granules by melting silver wire, and then solder each one on with a very small piece of solder. Once this was done it was time to make the rails. With Mr. Craven’s help I turned wire into square wire and made two rings which would fit onto the sides of my ring. Mr. Craven then told me I had to set the first rail with flux and place all the solder. Doing this I made a mistake and accidentally flowed the solder, when the rail was not in the right place. Mr. Craven and I tried to melt this rail off, but my rings ended up shattering. At this point I was ready to give up. With a couple deep breaths and encouragement from Mr. Craven, I tried again. After a couple of classes I was ready to retry soldering on my rails. This time I bound the rail to the inside ring using twisted binding wire, and this time being more careful with my torch flame I placed all my solder and was able to flow it and attach the two pieces without a problem. It was then time to solder the second rail. I had to use rouge, a mineral usually used for polishing, to prevent solder from flowing into places I didn’t want it, I also placed binding wire in between the spinning part of the ring and the already soldered rail to make sure it didn’t stick. This time Mr. Craven did the final flowing of the solder for me, while I watched to make sure none of the other solder melted as well. After final polishing my ring was finally done. I have never felt so relieved after finishing a project, but I also know I learned a lot; not just with the new techniques like granulation, but also with patience and never giving up.
Those of you who follow this blog would understand the accomplishments made my John Erickson, Senior. Early September John had finished his (and Nauset’s) first completed Bicycle. Now, into the early weeks of December, John is beginning to complete his (and Nauset’s) second completed Bicycle. John has fabricated the bike frame and is getting ready to place the primer and then paint the bike. When asked about his achievement John said, “I feel very fortunate to have learned these skills at the high school level.” Last year it took John almost seven months to complete his first bike. This time around John is hoping to finish his second bike before New Years. (Only taking three months!) “The difference between my first bike and this one was that fact that I had a better understanding of how everything was going to look as a whole. While working on my first bike I thought more locally, but on this bike I had a mental grasp of the how the final product should look,” said John. From everyone involved with Nauset Metals, congratulations John! You should be very proud!
After reaching our 28th post and receiving 139 views on our website since Wednesday December, 7th, we have been added to the main page of Nauset Regional High School’s website homepage! All of our students work very hard and are more than thrilled about the recent addition to the NRHS website, knowing that hopefully more people will be aware of our page and check out their work! Thanks to your (the readers) views, we have been noticed and it won’t stop here!
Knee deep in his fourth year of metals classes Sean Battles, senior, has become a very experienced and skilled craftsmen. With Jewelry 1 and 2, Art Metals 1 and six independent studies under his belt he has finished several projects over the years such as picture frames, many chains, pendents of Cape Cod and the Islands, stone setting, keum-boo, and anodized titanium and niobium. Sean’s latest project is a beautiful chain made out of fine silver. “I find it fun and interesting to work with my hands. I like making these chains because each one I complete I feel that I have expanded my metals skills,” said Sean. This long process started at the beginning of the school year in September when he began to form lengths of wire around different sized dowels. Sean said that an important part of this project (and every other project) is to “measure twice!” Next in his process Sean fused the jump rings together and then bent and weaved the jump rings to form his chain. “While forming it together I always had to double-check for broken links, just to be safe,” said Sean. After this he would mallet the chain to make it more square. To start off the high polish process he placed his chain into the tumbler. Another main key of this chain is the box clasp. The box clasp alone is a difficult project, but most certainly conquerable by an independent metals worker. Like any project in this studio, it all begins with a sketch. After the sketch is done it must be adjusted to the proportion to the design of the chain. Sean then proceeded to make the box clasp itself. To fit it onto the chain Sean had to make about ten different solder seams to create the clasp. Rolling towards the end of his process Sean created his end caps and soldered them to the chain. After that Sean started the final sanding with 400-600 grit sandpaper. Once this was done he would place it into the tumbler for ten minutes and then take it out. When it came out of the tumbler he would double-check for sanding flaws and if there were any he would re-sand and then put in the tumbler again.
The finishing touches includes a process called keum-boo.
Keum-boo”litterally means, ‘attached gold.’ It is a simple, reliable process that bonds 24k gold foil to the surface of another metal, usually fine silver. Pieces made with conventional fine silver may be used after thorough cleaning. Sterling silver must first have a skin of pure silver raised to its surface in a process called enriching, or depletion gilding” written by Celie Fago in her book “Keum-Boo on Silver.”
After this process was complete Sean would set the stone onto the tongue of the box clasp. “Seeing the final product feels like a great accomplishment,” said Sean Battles.
This year, my sophomore year, is my first time being an independent
study. I knew for my first jewelry project, it had to be special.
After taking Jewelry 1 last year with Mr. Craven and setting a
cabachon stone, I had an immediate interest in setting a faceted
stone. A few months ago I was looking through a jewelers book and
found a technique titled “Granulation”. The little balls of silver
were really neat. To make these granules, I had to cut small pieces of
silver from scrap. Then, I melted them down with a torch on a charcoal
block. Finally, I soldered them on to the ring. The process was very
tedious. Especially when filing and sanding around the granules. The
last step of my ring was setting my Anastasia topaz. Although Mr.
Craven actually did the final steps of the setting, I studiously
watched every thing he did to make the stone look perfect. I think
the ring turned out fantastic. This is definitely the best, and my
most cherished piece I’ve made to date.
Almost every student that walks into the metals studio is new to the art. Aria Conte, Junior, was exactly like that. “Right off the bat I knew it was going to be hard and would take lots of concentration, but the things I would make I would be proud of,” she said. Her design process started in a very different direction from where her final piece ended. “I wanted to make my earrings in the shape of whale tails, but while sketching I started to draw a house. I wasn’t try to be super original, I just wanted to make something well-known and that I knew was a little bit above my skill level so it would be challenging.” While going through the process of cutting out and filing her earrings, Aria began to get very frustrated with her design. “While working on my earrings, they weren’t coming out the way I had hoped. Both we’re coming out to be different sizes and some corners were sharper than others,” Aria said. She worked through the frustration and filed the earrings down to the same size. After sanding and buffing her earrings to create a clean polish, Mr.Craven handed each of the students a thin piece of copper to practice making an ear wire. “I will admit, my first attempts at making an ear wire we’re way below expectation. The ball wasn’t large enough and the bends were too far out. I knew I would need to try again so I asked Mr.Craven for another thin piece of copper. My favorite part of making the ear wire was definitely using the torch to make the ball. I’m not a pyromaniac or anything, but it’s a very cool thing to use or to witness.” Now on to her second copper ear wire, her efforts are pointing her in the right direction. After her second attempts with copper, Aria moved onto making her silver ear wires. “I was especially nervous while doing the silver ear wires because making those were a one shot deal, but since the silver melted faster it seemed much easier than before,” said Aria. With her earrings and ear wires done, her first project in Jewelry 1 is complete. “I’m very happy with my final product. What I’m most excited for is to tell people how I made the earrings that I will be wearing myself.”
Last week did not slow down our metal students! All week they were filled with enthusiasm and dressed in costume everyday. The excitment of the week did not stop the working atmosphere in the studio though. Even Mr. Craven dressed in the theme of the day! (Usually favoring the Seniors though!) Starting with Color Wars, the grades went head to head to head to head in a very colorful race. While this was going on outside of the studio then students in the A1 class we’re still concentrating on finishing filing and file texturing their fish. Going from Theme wars, to -ER day, and ending with Spirit day (even though most students only had two days of class due to the four day week) they stayed concentrated, but were still involved in events that Spirit Week had to offer!
For the past three weeks the A1 Metals class has been working hard on perfecting their techniques in the shop. They began with cutting a simple square out of copper. From that square they created their own shapes (triangles, square’s, ect.) and began to cut them out one by one. This exercise was to teach the students how to use the jeweler’s saw correctly and accurately. When the students passed this milestone they moved onto the penny. The “Penny Project” is taking the task of cutting out President Lincoln’s head using a jeweler’s saw and blade. In this task, precision is key to capture all of Lincoln’s facial features. Along with cutting out Lincoln’s head on one penny, the students had to cut out the Jefferson Memorial on the back of another penny. Using the jeweler’s saw to practice cuts was the underlining lesson. Lastly, with the “Penny Project” the students had to take one more pennies and cut out the empty space around Lincoln’s head. To do this they had to make several holes in the penny using a drill press. Once the holes we’re made the students began. To cut the inside of the penny the students had to load the blade through one of the holes in the penny. When one section is complete they had to take out the blade and do the previous process on another hole in the penny. The only thing they we’re allowed to keep in tact for this project was Lincoln, ”In God We Trust,” and the rim. This project may have caused many broken blades and some frustration, but it also taught the students many techniques the students will be using all throughout this class.
The latest project being done by the A1 Metals class is to cut out a fish from a piece of copper. Fish templates were previously made by Mr.Craven so they students could have an image to follow as they we’re cutting, also using a jeweler’s saw. For the tough spots to cut and to smooth sides, the students we’re taught how to use files. In today’s class Mr.Craven is giving an in depth demo on stamping. In the classes to come the students will practice the stamping techniques taught into today’s lesson.
On the second weekend in September of 2011 John Erickson, Senior, finished the first bicycle made in the Nauset Bike Frame Building class. Being an advanced metals student he built, fabricated, and painted his own bike in seven months. John said “I’m proud to ride something that I built. It’s cool for people to ask me who made it and I can say ‘I did!’” Around the middle of his bike building process John had a accident that turned into minor surgery. ”After my surgery I could go right back to work, but it was like working with only nine fingers.” This very infrequent accident did not slow him down. Now, more students are working on fabricating their very own bikes with the useful help of the Metals, Jewelry and now bike frame building teacher, Jody Craven. The Nauset Bike Frame Building class is becoming more popular with every bike finished.