Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Master Class with Tim McCreight

The first three days of Bead and Button were spent in Tim McCreight's master class on forging.  The man is AMAZING.  He managed to handle a room of 25 women....with hammers.  But seriously...he is a wonderful teacher.  If you ever have a chance to take a class with him....do it.  He is generous with his time and knowledge and has a great sense of humor.  Three days handling a 12 oz. hammer seemed to fly by. 

We had a very well equipped room at MATC in Milwaukee.

The first day we played with 6 gauge copper and brass wire to get a feel for what the hammer could do.  We made a plane change and practiced fanning out the metal and played with 1/4" copper rod.

Cris hard a work filing.

The man himself.  I learned a lot just by watching him strike with the hammer.  While my hammer bounced all over the place, his strikes were true and powerful.  By the end of three days I was much better.


The second day we took a small ingot of brass...about and 1-1/2" by 1/2" and forged a small spoon.  It was a lesson in patience and we honed our skills even further.  About one hour in... I had so mangled the ingot that I thought I would never finish the project.  But by the end of the day I had a spoon.  It may not look like much to you but that spoon is a miracle to me.  It was made entirely by hammering and just a little clipping of excess metal and a lot of hand polishing.

One the third day we poured ingots with Tim's help.  Using an acetyline and oxygen torch we melted down our scrap and had the chance to pour it. My ingot wasn't so great but it had a great texture on it and I want to captures in polymer.

We also had the chance to make some jewelry.  I made a bracelet from 6 gauge brass wire.  Cris helped me with the twist.

On Tuesday night there was a graduation dinner for all the master classes.  Cris ate her desert with her spoon :))