The last couple of weeks have given us rain. A lot of rain. No biggy.. That’s to be expected here on Vancouver Island in the fall. But there have been breaks in the weather and last week we actually had 2 sunny-ish days in a row so I decided to pull out the forge and do a little test project.
A while ago I had drawn up a rough idea of a sculpture that I wanted to do for Heather’s brother and his wife. I was supposed to have it done by now (At least I thought I would) but the shop took a bit more time to get finished so I’m definitely not going to get it done before spring.
But I have been puzzling through the process for a while so thought I would take advantage of a couple of relatively free days and good weather to work on the process and hopefully come up with a scaled down version that would set me on my way.
The first thing I did was fire up the forge and heat up some 1 inch round stock. I upset one end and then rough shaped it into an oval for the head of the bull kelp. Once that was done I cut the ball end off and MIG welded it to a piece of 1/2 inch round stock that I was going to taper down and shape the kelp stem.
The next step was to taper the stem and make it look “flowy”. It took a little bit of time but worked out quite well. I got to use my “new to me” pipe stand and it worked great for the round stock.
The final step of the forging process was to make the fronds of the kelp. For that I took some sections of 1/4 inch round stock and flattened and shaped them. They turned out quite nice (I forgot to take pictures of the process) and I TIG welded them to head of the “kelp”.
Once the kelp piece was finished I found a piece of stone to use as a base drilled a hole with a masonry bit, mounted the kelp and we were done. It looked pretty darn good and confirmed for me that the process I was planning for the full size piece should do the trick.
We’re heading down to see Mike and Patty shortly so I think they deserve to have this test piece. At least they’ll know I’ve been working on something for them. 🙂