When a cooper makes a barrel the staves are roughly lined up in a circle and the hoops are loosely arranged around them. The hoops are then hammered into place with ... wait for it ... with a hoop driver. There are a lot of different styles that evolved over the years, this is a hybrid of a few. This was forged from a chunk of mystery metal laying around the shop - and I paid for it. The metal must have had an inclusion in the grains and when I was just finishing the edge, the corner cracked off of one edge. Doesn't impact the usefulness, just resulted in a new litany of vulgarities bouncing off the forge walls. A little clean up and thing were back on track.
Some backstory: when I was in elementary school, first and second grade at St. Theodores, within a few feet of the playground fence was the dark door of a cooperage. Lots of smoke, fire and sparks. Clearly magical stuff was going on. The guys would come out for lunch, drenched in sweat, reeking of smoky iron and wood. A couple of us would sit on the swings and, hearing words we had never heard, wondered at what country they were from. Upon inquiring after our teachers, the nuns had us eat lunch inside for the rest of the school year.
I've been researching this method on/off for over a year. I took a short workshop at Wrought Academy from Jim Austin using the techniques associated with Koftgari which uses a knife blade rather than a chisel. Took a very short workshop from Mitsusuke in Kumamoto, Japan. Finally, I took a Japanese inlay class in Seattle from Momoko in the fall of 2019. All of these workshops covered little bits here and there, but most of the heavy lifting was done by the instructors. So... I decided to start with the basics and tie all these bits together.
The first step is making a stamp for the heavier silver and gold that I will need to use for higo zogan. Higo Zogan and Kyo Zogan are Japanese overlay methods for steel, while nunome zogan is overlay for brass. The techniques are roughly the same, but the tools are different. I have made most of the tools, but the last challenge was the stamp for the heavier silver or gold.
I've only tried it on thin copper and silver, but it seems to work very well. This will be the basic segment of an inlayed aspen leaf.
Had a few folks ask about purchasing these so I thought I beat out a few more. I've spent so much time on my sundials that some of my basic forging skills had gotten rusty. Anyway, here's the result of a few hours well spent.
Hadn't made a bottle opener in a long time and wanted to try out my new CREEDE stamp. I can see a wonderful future in store for me ...
Pretty sure only a blacksmith would appreciate this picture. It's been a while since I punched a hole in steel. Nice and clean plug.
the Mad tinker
Just an archive of projects as they progress. Nothing really to see here. Move along ...