This is a clip of Charles Lewton-Brain demonstrating how to tell when metal is annealed. The flame turns orange as it leaves the metal. This is effective for all base and precious metals, excluding platinum.
While it's true the demo takes place in a lit room, you might try dimming the lights to make the color change easier to see.
Metal work-hardens when it is folded, hammered, etc. It becomes inflexible and can even crack at a certain point, making it unworkable. When heated to annealing temperature, its molecular structure realigns and the metal becomes soft and flexible again.
Because foldforming is a technique that work-hardens metal pretty aggressively -- and then requires the metal to be soft for unfolding -- annealing is critical to the process. And since it's a frequent step for metalsmiths in a wide variety of situations, it seems like a perfect clip to share from the conference.
August 2012 on SueLacy Wired is dedicated to the 5th annual Charles Lewton-Brain Conference on Foldforming, taking place Aug 3-6 at the Center for Metal Arts in downstate NY. To view the series, click category "5th Annual Charles Lewton-Brain Conference" in the far right column on this page.
(Are you a metalsmith interested in foldforming? Join our official Facebook group.)
Sue Lacy Wired
This began as a hobbyist's blog.
Over time it became a quest to support & connect metalsmiths around the globe who use foldforming techniques in their work.
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