Swaging is a forging process in which the dimensions of an item are altered using a die or dies, into which the item is forced. Swaging is usually a cold working process. However, it may be done as a hot working process. The term “swage” can apply to the process of swaging (verb), or to a die or tool used for swaging (noun). In 2000, I developed this method specifically for attaching pin findings to re-purposed traffic signs, enabling me to use the colorful, reflective fragments as brooches. My technique works best on the soft, thick (usually 2.5mm +) aluminum traffic sign sheet.
Kazazlık, (also known as “Kazaziye” or “Kazaz”), is one of the rare and rapidly disappearing handcrafts of Turkey. Trabzon, a city in the Black Sea region of Turkey, is the only place in Turkey which produces kazazlık. The word, “kazaz” means, the person who produces and/or sells silk yarns. Kazazlık is a weaving technique that uses 0.08 or 0.09 millimeter (approximately the thickness of a hair) pure gold or pure silver wire wrapped around either silk or nylon threads. This silver or gold wire becomes very strong and flexible so that it can be woven without breaking. Generally, three different thicknesses are used to make jewelry: Thin for making chains, medium thickness for earrings, and thick for pendants and bracelets. The overall thickness of these wrapped wires are between 0.3mm to 0.5mm.
This article is about how a non-enamelist came to design and build (and fail and build and fail and build and then build again) a large, torch-fired enameling kiln. First I would like to add a point of clarification: this is about building a torch-fired enameling kiln, not about torch-firing enamels. This is to say that I was attempting to create a kiln environment heated by a torch in which to fuse enamels to metals without the torch flame making direct contact with the object being fired. Although a metallic surround is sometimes used to help manage and contain the heat during a torch firing, most torch-firing of enamels involve applying the torch flame directly to the surface of the metal being enameled.
Last summer, I was awarded a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Faculty Professional Development Grant to experiment with enamelling on complex fabricated forms. This grant allowed me to experiment on large scale, hammer formed and welded objects.
Martin Ebbers, alias Martinus, began his formal apprenticeship to become a goldsmith at the age of 15. He achieved his Master Goldsmith Degree and Teaching Certification through studies at the Institute of Goldsmith Arts in Hanau, Germany in 1980. To date Martinus has spent 38 years at the work bench. Martinus always carried some unresolved questions on metallurgy. His curiosity has recently led to fascinating new discoveries.