Wednesday, March 04, 2009

No - I really DID mean to do it that way...

Yesterday I welded the curved elements which hold the glass in place as the last part of the Graham door panel.

Now, there was a fair amount of adjusting that had gone on to get the previously forged bracketing pieces to fit correctly. Each had to slot into the mouth of the pipe uprights, hold the glass firmly, fit into the other elements - and hopefully all look good. This was all fiddley work, made worse by the recent -15 C temperatures. The work was done on my large layout table, which sits in a part of the workshop with no heat at all, and remember the metal itself is at that temperature!

I had laid the brackets out in pairs, then carefully moved each set together into the heated 'clean studio' for painting. First the whole element was given its black paint, and allow to dry. Then a layer of plastic coating (normally used for tool handles) was applied to the inside of the curves. This would allow some flex between the glass disks and the supporting brackets. Next the disks were put in place, covered with cardboard and taped securely between the brackets. Each was carefully lettered to maintain the order I had carefully maintained through the whole process.

Then I took the brackets and welded each into its matching uprights. The image bellow is the result...

Notice anything odd? Well, the finished bracket and disk combinations just did not fit the way I had originally laid them out. I ended up moving them around at the last minute to get them to both fit and look just right.

hmmm - that reminds me of a story from history...

The Derrynaflan Paten - type of shallow metal plate for holding the bread during the Eucharist - was assembled by Celtic metalworkers from over 300 separate components. The dish is made from beaten silver, trimmed with silver wire mesh bordered by a ring of gold filigree panels.
from Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art

A good long time ago, I had attended a casual lecture by Michael Ryan, curator of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. He was a guest instructor at the University of Toronto, this would have been the early to mid 1980's. He had been talking about Irish metalwork, especially objects from the period of Celtic and Norse interaction in the 800 - 900's. One of his featured examples was the recently uncovered Derrynaflan Hord

In the process of examining, preserving and preparing the paten for exhibition, the individual decorated plaques set along the rim of the plate were removed. Underneath was discovered a series of numbers scratched into the silver plate, with each of the individual plaques also numbered. The kick was that the numbers did not match! For some reason, at the point of finally assembly, the metalsmith either changed his mind - or just plain screwed up. Dr Ryan also suggested another possibility, that this numbering might indicate that the silver plate and the gold filigree panels had in fact been created by artisans working in different, perhaps widely separated, workshops.

"Life imitates Art" ?

1 comment:

Albert A Rasch said...

I thought I would leave you a note. I am enjoying everything that you have written and appreciate the effort you have put into this blog!

Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Rasch Reviews: Tactical
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
Southeast Regional OBS Coordinator


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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