A break in the weather

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.

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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.

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Initial “kelp ball” welded to the stock

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.

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At work forging the kelp stem

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. P_20171012_160310_vHDR_Auto.jpg

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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.  🙂

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