Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Look Above - in progress, Part Two, completion

Welcome back. OK, now we'll see this piece through. 

As the wooden structure is glued with woodworker's glue to bond the layers, it gets put aside while I work on the back plate and get it ready.

The etched plate is attached to the brass armature.

Drawing and realized object.

Seen from the front...

..and from the back. Notice the cut-away in the center. This was done to lighten the structure up, as that area will be covered by the wooden assembly. The outer pierced areas will act as windows for engraved imagery.

I've made a decision that will greatly impact the overall look of the piece - all 19th-century color lithographs will be used. These have intense and saturated color.

 Mica panels will be placed over the images to protect them.

Rinsed after patination.

The images in place and ready to rivet into position under the mica. 

Now clamped to the wooden assembly to rivet all together. 

 Tube rivets being prepared.

 The sandwich is together and awaiting clean-up/registration.

 Another tube rivet readies a revolving element for the top of the neckpiece: a medieval bronze spur.

The spur in position. Now the back brass structure will be bent around to prong-set the elements.

 The lower prongs being bent.

 A good moment as the structure comes clear for the first time. Note the brace for the spur to spin  on top.

 Now as the top steel plate is about to be riveted down, the lower chamber (backed by a litho eye) is filled with raw sapphires (the intended owner's birthstone).

 The steel tacks complete their oval around the porthole.

 And another unusual tension-setting: the hole in the bottom of the steel plate locks a round labradorite bead between it and the floral work in back (see next image).

 The cord being made next.

 A tiny rivet about to be made.

 Beautiful 1930's copper-plated steel chain riveted into the key.

And hung up to check balance.

 The last two elements are attached - the title plate and piece of coral.

 To view the finished piece, follow this link.

Thanks again for coming along for the journey. I'll be back in the studio in the coming weeks for more.




  1. Be still my beating heart ... OMG you've done it again KLB ... totally, beautifully, brilliant!!!

  2. Thanks for letting us into your studio to view your process...wonderful! I definitely have to sign up for one of your classes this coming year.

  3. Being able to watch your process is so exciting...thanks so much for this glimpse into the fabrication of one of your amazing works!

  4. I showed John photos at several stages and we both thought "done", but wait LoBue does more. The finished piece is a masterpiece. You are definitely a master. Love your blog, mister.

  5. Wonderful Keith!
    Been looking online for a gun vise like you have, ever since I took your Rivet making class here in Portland, but I can't seem to locate one... any recommendations? Would love an old one like yours. Thanks!
    Shelly Caldwell

  6. you never cease to amaze me. You are the metal master!

  7. Well, this was so worth waiting for! It's a fantastic piece! :)

  8. Again, I am speechless. It turned out so cool. Great job. Riki

  9. Beautiful...and sapphires are my birthstone...I could wear it! Excellent photos and description of the process. Thanks teach!
    Nancy MacBride

  10. Beautiful stuff, stuffsmith!

  11. Always fascinating. Always.

    Thank you for sharing.