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Scissors with wrought iron and bronze metal clay

Jeff Amundson

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I've been playing with bronze metal clay for the finger bows on scissors. I'm trying to find an easy way to shape and polish the inside of the bows. After several false starts, I finished this pair. I chose wrought iron because I couldn't resist combining 13th century blades with 20th century bows.


As discussed before on this forum, most metal clay is used for jewelry, not structural pieces. I chose a version called sculptor's bronze with a shrinkage rate of 9-14%. I took several measurements before and after firing. The shrink rate wasn't consistent within the part. For example, the bows shrank more top to bottom than side to side. However, the shrink was consistent from one part to the next. The pair went into the oven nearly identical, and they came out that way.


Metal clay is water soluble, so joining two pieces together was a bit like welding with water. I chamfered the ends of two pieces of clay like I would with a metal weld. I then thinned the clay so I could drip it into the joint with a toothpick. For the subsequent passes I would make the clay a little thicker each time.


Because of the shaping and sanding I did in the greenware state, after firing I was able to polish the inner surfaces of the bows with rubber polishing bobs. That's enough success to motivate me to try again.






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Very nicely done! The contrast in materials is beautiful and execution top notch! From the few times I've tried to make a pair it hasn't gone nearly so well ;)

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Thanks for the compliments.


10 hours ago, John Page said:

From the few times I've tried to make a pair it hasn't gone nearly so well 

What might appear to be skill or talent might be better described as persistence.


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  • 2 weeks later...

That is so cool!

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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Your persistance has paid off. Well done!


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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

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I like the idea of adding finger& thumb parts….. Yeah, cool idea….. that box of practice really tells the tail……the best way of learning is by mistake and then trying again….

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