Friday, December 21, 2012

Fold Forming Workshop

As someone who has taught workshops on riveting and wire wrapping techniques, I appreciate how a day dedicated to a particular topic can significantly improve one's level of skill.
I decided that I wanted to improve my fold forming abilities and signed up for a workshop with the talented Wendy Edsall-Kerwin, offered through the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.
Along with seven other students, I spent last Saturday in the well equipped metals studio at Harrisburg Area Community College absorbing as much as I could.
Using a T-fold, I made a copper cuff.
We also had a chance to work with brass....definitely a bit more challenging than the copper.
I've mentioned before that fold forming involves lots of annealing- heating the metal to a dull red glow. 
Copper becomes very malleable when annealed.
Brass?....not as much.
I use wedge folds for my brass cuff.
Texture was added with the different hammers I was using and with the vertical face of the vice that I used to hold the brass in place while smashing it into shape.
When I began the brass cuff, I was envisioning a certain effect that I never did find.
Sometimes it's better to follow where the metal wants to take you.
I also did some line folds, again using copper.
Once the folds were completed, I annealed the metal and shaped it using a hoop mandrel.
I love the look of the folds and the textures left from the hammering and want to be able to turn this into jewelry.
I always need to consider how I can market my skills, and making earrings is often a good answer.
I used my jewelers saw to cut the folded copper piece in half and then filed and sanded the cuts.
I'm now considering options for attaching earwires, thinking that a cold connection might be the way to go.
In the meantime, there is a Christmas tree on my porch that needs to come indoors and get decorated.
Earwires will have to wait.


  1. What lovely pieces you made! I can't wait to see what becomes of the last set--I know you will turn them into beautiful earrings.

    I so want to learn the art of fold forming, and I learn better in a classroom setting rather than by books or even DVD's. But so far I haven't found a class close to me.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  2. Alice- I'm with you in preferring to learn some techniques hands-on with someone who know what they're doing. If you don't have access to a class/workshop, I would suggest that you take a look at the book Foldforming by Charles Lewton-Brain. He's the one who pioneered the technique, and his book is filled with lots of great info. that can help you get started with confidence. there a Beadfest event located near you? The one coming up this spring in Philadelphia is offering several foldforming workshops. Good luck!!