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WELCOME to my colorful corner of the world! I write here about the things I make, in glass, fiber, metals, and whatever else I can find to play with!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

On a Roll!

It's been a couple of days since I talked about the Hard Candy class at ArtBLISS. I promised at the end of that post to talk about the second class I took with Melissa, her evening 'Roll Playing' class, which was all about learning to use a rolling mill and trying out various textures on metal.

If I wasn't a total tool junkie before, I sure am now. Must. Have Rolling. Mill.

Oh my goodness, so much fun!! I had no idea that you could put such cool textures on metal just by running it through a machine that looks like a pasta maker on steroids!

For those of you who are uninitiated, this is a rolling mill:
The picture doesn't show the arm of the mill, but it's long, and physics is your friend here, because this sucker puts some *serious* pressure on stuff! Pretty much everything that gets run through here is destroyed (except your metal sheet!) when it comes out the other side. About the only thing that managed to not get totally obliterated by the rolling was a spiral of 16g bronze wire. It survived at least my two rollings, and at least one other person rolled it. Even still, it got really flattened.

So, Melissa explained how to use the mill, and what and how to put through the rollers. Then we were off to the races, annealing metal sheet, and running it through with all kinds of added "stuff". I LOVED this! It was so amazing what you could do!

Here is one of my favorites, a piece of annealed bronze with a skeletonized leaf impressed on it:

After I milled this, I punched holes in the top for linking into a necklace, and then I hammered the edges and background area around the leaf. A dunk in some liver of sulphur and done! Nice, huh? I already have a vision for the necklace that goes with this. :)

Next I rolled some sheet copper with a piece of plastic onion bag, and some small leaf stickers, and got this:

I love the onion-bag texture! And I was amazed by how thin something can be and still make a really good impression! Amazing!

And here is this, one of my very favorites:
Some leaf stickers and a piece of tulle! I had to burn the stickers off with a torch, they were practically embedded in the copper!

And finally, the bronze wire I was talking about:
I actually ran both these metal pieces through with the wire sandwiched in between. one piece of copper had some wallpaper on it, which is how I got the texture on the piece on the left.

Cool, huh?

I can think of about a gazillion ways to use the patterned metal, and it's just so much fun to try different things! And because I certainly AM a class-A tool junkie, this new tool has gone on my wish list. Santa probably won't be bringing it to me this year, because I have need of a few other things first, but definitely next year, my goal is to get one. Contenti has one (the one in the picture at the top of this post) for about $200, which really isn't bad when you think about how heavy and massive a tool this is.

Oh, and tomorrow, my hole punch and soldering stand should be here! I have some enamels, some copper discs, I got a small torch at Home Depot, and look out, it's gonna be ON this week!

I can't wait to make some cool stuff!

10 comments:

sundownbeaddesigns said...

I totally loved the rolling mill too! Looks like you've already made a necklace with the one piece. Can't wait to see what you do with the other rollings.

STAMPMOM9 said...

Hello Christine I have a pic of you on my blog. So glad to have met you at Art Bliss. Love your work. Can't wait to see more pieces. Take Care, Dawn

one-eared pig said...

I want one!

Christine said...

Hi Dawn! Thanks for letting me know about the pic on your blog! It was fantastic to meet you at ArtBLISS!

Cindy said...

Girlfriend, you have me so totally psyched about this cool tool! If Santa brings me one first...we are on for a playdate! :-)
I absolutely LOVE what you made! Melissa's classes really rocked. She is one incredible instructor and I sure wish I was in this particular class! I like that you can achieve all of these amazing patterns, almost like etching, but without all of the chemicals.

Christine said...

Cindy, you're ON! It's a rolling mill playdate, no matter which one of us gets one first! :D

Laura Twiford said...

Hi Christine, it was great meeting you in Melissa's enameling class. I have some pix of you posted on my blog from that class. I too was taken with the rolling mill AND the hydraulic press in her sunday class. I just recieved the rolling mill from contenti yesterday, still in the box, the hydraulic press will have to wait awhile, much pricier! A shame you are 4 hours and the bridge tunnel away! Laura

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

I love what you made with the rolling mill! I am hoping that is the next piece of equipment I can talk mom into buying! I have all these textured plates, last years Christmas presents, that I haven't had a chance to play with. I can't wait to see what you do with your other pieces. Have fun!
Beth

Gwynnie B said...

I want a rolling mill! Because you know, I just don't have enough STUFF in my studio!! Your pieces are beautiful, especially the leaves, and I know you cranked it out with passion :)

Gwynnie B said...

HA! The secret code word to leave a comment was messe...yes, you gotta' get "mess-e" to have fun!!

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