Friday, July 10, 2009

Two Sides of History - In Progress, Pt.1

I've just emerged from my studio lair with a major new neckpiece, which I've documented all the way. This post will take us halfway through the fabrication of the piece, to be followed later by the completion. I'll be shooting beauty shots of Two Sides of History later today, to finish my documentation.

Ready? Let's hit the bench.

After deciding on one of my collection of antique animal leg traps to use as the body of the piece, I choose some elements to add glass to in my new kiln.

Keyholes ready to slump glass into.

A beautiful and tiny brass drawer-pull gets prepped for similar treatment.

The trap, jaws and chain removed.

Readying to remove the small setting strap after shaping the metal above it...

...for modification.

Drawing the new contours of the trap.

And sawn.

A keyhole window gets a cutting template.

Slow work in old and brittle steel.

A stunning optometrists' lens, glass altered from below, will take center stage on the pendant.

A real fisheye-grade lens!

Gathering materials to make the swing attachment for affixing the lens to the trap.

The tiny assembly ready to go.

The trap, shaped.

To remove the rust, the trap gets a day in a rock tumbler.

In the meantime, I start work on the jaw. Note the lovely deep dent on the right...must've snapped shut on another piece of steel long ago...?

The tiniest chain of this design I've ever made.

The trap cleaned, now the jaw gets rounded out on a steel form.

A beautiful steel eye bolt is riveted to the jaw.

And fitted with a large brass ring, while the upholstery tacks are bent into loops to hold the little chain.

Part two will start by showing what emerged from the kiln and we'll take it from there.



  1. My friend your work is breathtaking. I just love the range of equipment you use, this time a rock tumbler. your workshop must be like a cave of curios that would alone keep me happy for hours.

    I cannot wait for the next installment.

    Dave Jones

  2. Very, very awesome!
    And I never thought of putting my rock tumbler to such a use! Excellent!
    Thanks for all your generosity and I too can't wait for part two!

  3. Anxiously awaiting the next segment as I have been working on some glass casting & slumping ideas of my own!

  4. Love your work and seeing the process just makes it all the better...thanks for sharing it!

  5. It's exciting to see all of the processes involved in the creation of a piece. It's so complex and yet elegant.

  6. Your vision of what is and what can be is incredible.

    And what expectations we now have as we look forward to seeing the completed piece.


  7. WOW totally amazing as always Keith

  8. You're work is ever evolving, I love the direction this one is taking and while everyone else is creating rust, you're cleaning it off. Can't wait for the next installment.

  9. This really does look fantastic. I love the idea of putting antique animal traps to a loving use... beautiful. I'm looking forward to your next note with the glass slumping too!