There is nothing more fascinating for me right now than a technique called fold forming. It was developed by master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain in the 1980's and -- this is the most amazing part -- it was officially certified as a NEW and history-making metal technique. In the gazillion years that mankind has been working metal, fold forming was never done until this Lewton-Brain character came up with it.
This was partially due to the ready availability of sheet metal, which was also unprecedented. But, the guy is a true genius and a recognized leader in the field to this day. If you're a fellow metalsmith, you're probably already familiar with his Ganoksin Project, the largest free educational site for jewelers in the world with 7 million+ visitors each year -- if not, run don't walk here to join.
In late July, I will travel to the Center for Metal Arts in New York to study fold forming with the man himself... Charles Lewton-Brain! I'm a little star struck, and SO excited.
Fold forming begins with a flat sheet of metal, and is transformed by folding then hammering and/or running it through a rolling mill. Metalsmiths generally shape their metal using techniques designed to overcome the natural properties of metal. Fold forming, on the other hand, seeks to understand and then use/exploit those natural properties. The results are organic and 3-dimensional, with a startling resemblance to organic living things.
These are some samples I've made recently.
So my plan is to keep my Wednesday blog date but switch up the topic to include some of my adventures in fold forming. Come along with me and see how things progress! It will be fun.
By the way, I've also made a video of the 3rd Annual Columbus "Eco-chic Craftacular," last weekend's show. Such a fun time. It's just 3 minutes long so take a look and plan to visit again next year. Photos were snapped by fellow Etsy Team Columbus team members Jan Dennison, Kathryn Gorney, Patricia Wooten-Jones, and Jamie Hevener.