Batman wouldn’t be this scared!
Senses heightened and on alert I step causiously into the metalworking department at Inverness College. Guillotines, plasma cutters, welding machines, noise, noxious smells and flashes of bright light that leave you blind if you are caught unawares. What am I doing here? Exploring possibilities is what. I have visions of metal and wood; visions of combining Nature with found objects and scrap metal and to do this I have to enter the workshop…..
So I listen attentively to the safety brief and follow quietly as we get a guided tour of the machines. This Creative Metalwork evening class malarkey is ok so far. I try welding and I watch someone else use the plasma cutter and I plan. Though I have no actual plan yet.
I have a plan!
Oh I’m so excited. I am now working on my sculpture for the book launch. The brass has been approved as suitable by my lecturer and I have an abstract image of a bird. I decide to practice on 2mm steel first to see how the metal reacts using the recommended plasma cutter. The cuts are uneven and its difficult to be pricise with the cutter that also leaves a considerable burr and molten metal on the edges of the shape. These edges need to be filed down to leave a clean, even surface with the grinder (otherwise known as a rotating flappy disc).
The pressure is on with the piece needing to be complete for the launch on November 11th.
To do list:
- Add texture to one shape and decide whether to have Oak bark texture or a plain surface. Or, do I have texture on just parts of the shape?
- Put the two cut shapes through the rollers and make decisions on the final shape. Ideally, I would have made at least 6 blanks to test the curling and how the light and shadow look with the shape which will dictate how I position the abstract bird on to the Oak.
- Cut the brass piece or pieces, finish edging to leave a clean smooth edge, add texture or not, curl in the desired direction, polish, mount onto the pre-prepared Oak…
No pressure at all then.