May 22, 2011

Hand Forged Metal Journals at The Annex

This past Saturday I spent the day using all sorts of cool hand tools in Tracy Moore's fabulous Hand Forged Metal Journals class. It was held at The Annex in Pioneer Square.I got to use things like a center punch, letter stamps, a dremel, a blow torch (my fave), sandpaper, some burnishing ink, hammers, this weird thing I don't even know the name for and the list goes on.

Check out Tracy's blog where he has posted shots of some of the other journals. They are amazing. I kept mine very simple. Life has just been too nutty lately and I had no energy to plot out a design prior to class. I'm glad I went and got to use the tools and learn the techniques. Now I do have ideas in my head for future metal journals.

Here are just two of many examples of Tracy's journals he displays at The Annex.

After Tracy discussed all of the tools and many of the techniques, we each set to work. The day was one big open workshop. All of us just drilling, sanding, cutting, and hammering like crazy. This is not something you would do in an apartment. I wore earplugs the whole time (considerately supplied by Tracy).

After I decided which kind of leather to use and how it would look once sewn onto the copper cover, I began altering the copper. You have to get all of this part done first. Once the covers are bound you are limited in how you can alter them. I can't remember if we learned what this method and what these tools are called but they were very popular. "Blumping" was the casual term for hammering these bubbles into the copper.

And once a girl has finished blumping, it's time for the blow torch!
Applying the flame to the copper changes it dramatically. The best part, besides just getting to use a blow torch, is you never know how it will turn out. I love how the covers look. Shiny new copper is nice but heated copper is fantastic.

Now it's time to drill all the holes for the stitching. It's a good idea to hammer in a couple of nails to hold everything to the wood block. This way the whole operation stays put while you drill a couple dozen closely spaced holes.

Now it's time to stitch.

Before you know it, you have a book.


The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

That journal is so cool! It looks like it should be kept in the tower of a castle, and filled with runes.

vb said...

Thanks, Rowdy. I wish I had more oomph that day to really make it look like I envision it NOW. Maybe I need to invest in some power tools!

decorative said...

wow .. very nice idea it looks like cool ..


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