Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Workshop

I was fortunate enough to take a class with David Huang this past weekend - Angle Raising and Chasing Techniques at Creative Metalworks. Here is a description of the workshop:

"This 2-day workshop explores the methods required to work in the Development of Luminous Hollowware. We are honored to have David share his expertise in so many processes he has perfected. David forms his vessels by hand out of a single sheet of copper using angle-raising techniques. When fully raised, he embellishes the pieces with beautiful designs, chased from the exterior of the vessel. David solders sterling silver on the rim, and begins the patination process. For a final elegant touch, David gilds the interior of the vessel with 23kt gold leaf."

It was amazing! David's work is amazing and I have long admired it. Now I admire David as well. He is a generous and patient instructor and seems like an all around good guy. Take some time and explore his website including the articles he has written.

As with most 'masters', David makes it look SO easy.

Its not.

But I am discovering something about myself. I am drawn to techniques where I am really pushing metal. I loved the anticlastic forming that I did in the Michael Good workshop, and I loved this. I really enoy moving metal. Not just cutting and soldering and fabricating, though I obviously like that as well, but moving metal is really really enjoyable. Its, thats not the right word, maybe meditative. You can get in a zone and HOURS pass. Literally. And I like that its physical, it involves a lot of body motion.

Boy is it hard though. As I said, David makes it look easy, not only easy, but graceful. And his results are no less than graceful for sure.

David demonstrated raising a vessel from a 6" disk of copper. Due to time contraints, we were given pre-formed 'vessels'. They were not hand raised though, they were press formed, and they were all different odd shapes with lumps and bumps and ridges and creases. So although we didn't raise them ourselves, we spent a fair amount of time on the stakes reshaping and planishing. The entire first day in fact. Then we filled out lovely little forms with wax and drew on a design with pencil. After that we began the chasing techniques that David uses to give his vessels depth and design and texture.

Mine has a LONG way to go.

I have done one course of chasing and need to melt the wax out and then do another complete course of chasing for depth and form, then chasing for texture.

Then I need to reshape the opening as mine got skewed (I didn't fill it to the BRIM with wax so it caved a bit while I was chasing).

After that I will determine if it gets a silver rim or a lid or anything and then it will be patinated.

I am looking forward to getting back to work on this!

And I'm still RAW! Today is day 8 and I feel GREAT .


  1. Wow...that is so cool!! I love what you have made. Saw his work. What looks just totally stunning to me personally are the shades and colors. I look at a bowl he has made and it can take me into a meditative mood just looking at the earthy shades outside and then the rich divine shades of gold inside...something really spiritual about that.

  2. I'm with Swati on this one... so cool! Anxious to see more as you delve into the techniques you learned.

  3. Thanks guys!!!

    And yes, David's work is amazing!

  4. I'm envious! Nothing better than learning new techniques. Well done.

  5. What a great opportunity...I love learning more about something I love...have fun!

  6. I too HEART (or whatever you kids are saying these days) David's work and am extremely jealous!

    I also HEART forming & raising and was suppose to take a class with Cogswell when he was at the 92st Y in NYC but I missed it and then he left the Y to teach at New Paltz. Unfortunately New Platz will not take part-time students in their metals program :(

    Anyway... So far your piece looks awesome! I too want to one day move metal!