"Surface Texture and Embellishment" workshop

by Fred Zweig

October 10th & 11th 2008 - Tucson Arizona

Written by Gail and Carl Pitts

During the second weekend of October Fred Zweig presented his workshop on surface texture and embellishment at the Randolph Center Jewelry Studio. Fred has been working as a Metalsmith for more than thirty years. His work has concentrated on forging, raising and repousse/chasing primarily with non-ferrous metals.  You can learn more about Fred’s interests and see some of his wonderful creations by visiting his Blog, Musings of a Metalsmith, at http://fredz49.blogspot.com/.

During the class Fred taught his students tool making, reverse texturing, roller printing, engraving and localized metal deformation.  The purpose of the workshop was, not to make pieces of jewelry or metal sculpture, but to learn surface texture and embellishment techniques and to make samples. These techniques could be used later as a guide for creating jewelry or pieces of metal art.

Fred demonstrated how to make tools from screwdrivers, hammers, Allen wrenches and tool steel that can be used to form specific texturing patterns.  In the figure below, Fred is using a cutoff wheel to demonstrate how to create a design on a ball peen hammer that can be used to texture metal.

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After the students had made one of the tools, they used their tool to texture or embellish the surface of a 2x2 inch piece of copper or brass sheet.  In the picture below we see Jan, under Fred’s watchful eye, using a tool she had made from a nail set and a piece of railroad track as an anvil to texture the surface of a piece of copper sheet.

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Examples of the textured pieces created by students during the workshop.

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This is one of Raylene’s samples that she created using a tool that she had made from a Phillips screwdriver.

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This is a sample that Suze created by cutting a piece of manila folder using decorative scissors. She placed the cut pieces on the metal and ran them through the rolling mill.

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This is one of Gail’s samples that she created using a cut off Phillips screwdriver and a textured ball peen hammer.

By the end of the workshop each student had created a portfolio of ten to twenty samples of the techniques they had learned.  In the photograph below we see Fred with a tired, but happy, group of students with their portfolios displayed.

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Jorga Riggenbach took the photographs presented here.  For more of Jorga’s photos from this and other workshops go to: http://www.pbase.com/jar3531/adc08.

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