It's been a couple of days since I talked about the Hard Candy class at ArtBLISS. I promised at the end of that post to talk about the second class I took with Melissa, her evening 'Roll Playing' class, which was all about learning to use a rolling mill and trying out various textures on metal.
If I wasn't a total tool junkie before, I sure am now. Must. Have Rolling. Mill.
Oh my goodness, so much fun!! I had no idea that you could put such cool textures on metal just by running it through a machine that looks like a pasta maker on steroids!
For those of you who are uninitiated, this is a rolling mill:
The picture doesn't show the arm of the mill, but it's long, and physics is your friend here, because this sucker puts some *serious* pressure on stuff! Pretty much everything that gets run through here is destroyed (except your metal sheet!) when it comes out the other side. About the only thing that managed to not get totally obliterated by the rolling was a spiral of 16g bronze wire. It survived at least my two rollings, and at least one other person rolled it. Even still, it got really flattened.
So, Melissa explained how to use the mill, and what and how to put through the rollers. Then we were off to the races, annealing metal sheet, and running it through with all kinds of added "stuff". I LOVED this! It was so amazing what you could do!
Here is one of my favorites, a piece of annealed bronze with a skeletonized leaf impressed on it:
After I milled this, I punched holes in the top for linking into a necklace, and then I hammered the edges and background area around the leaf. A dunk in some liver of sulphur and done! Nice, huh? I already have a vision for the necklace that goes with this. :)
Next I rolled some sheet copper with a piece of plastic onion bag, and some small leaf stickers, and got this:
I love the onion-bag texture! And I was amazed by how thin something can be and still make a really good impression! Amazing!
And here is this, one of my very favorites:
Some leaf stickers and a piece of tulle! I had to burn the stickers off with a torch, they were practically embedded in the copper!
And finally, the bronze wire I was talking about:
I actually ran both these metal pieces through with the wire sandwiched in between. one piece of copper had some wallpaper on it, which is how I got the texture on the piece on the left.
I can think of about a gazillion ways to use the patterned metal, and it's just so much fun to try different things! And because I certainly AM a class-A tool junkie, this new tool has gone on my wish list. Santa probably won't be bringing it to me this year, because I have need of a few other things first, but definitely next year, my goal is to get one. Contenti has one (the one in the picture at the top of this post) for about $200, which really isn't bad when you think about how heavy and massive a tool this is.
Oh, and tomorrow, my hole punch and soldering stand should be here! I have some enamels, some copper discs, I got a small torch at Home Depot, and look out, it's gonna be ON this week!
I can't wait to make some cool stuff!