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I have a niece who is big on Egyptian stuff so I thought I would have a shot at making an ankh cross for her. A bit tricky and I'm not 100% happy with my first try.

My method: Prepare a short length of 12mm square bar as for a Frederick's Cross but don't overlap the cuts. Forge into a plain cross which will not have the four point star in the centre. Split and drift  the top half of the cross to make the loop. Flare the cross bar ends and lower end a little and texture.

Has anyone else forged these ankh crosses? Perhaps there is a better way and I would be interested in all suggestions.

Here is my attempt:

 

 

ankh 2.JPG

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Looks like it would make a nice Egyptian style bottle opener!

If there was enough thickness left in the 'head', I would personally try flattening it down a bit more to match the profile of the rest of the cross rather than being rounded. 

Rather than the textured hammer marks, perhaps use a small fuller to uniformly depress the centre rather than random marks, so it's a bit of a cleaner/decorative finish?

Either way, a great first version!

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Thanks, Das. I will try more. I find the preparation takes the time before the piece gets near the forge. I suppose I could weld the pieces together using a perfect ring, but it's not the same as forging it from one piece.

Viking: Thanks for the suggestions. What you say would definitely lead to an improved design. Note taken.

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I like it, but the thinness of the loop is a bit out of proportion with the other limbs. Perhaps if you upset the top limb lengthwise before splitting the loop, that would give you some more thickness to play with. 

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Yes, the loop became thin quickly. I did allow a bit more metal there by making the original long cut off centre and using the thicker section as the top limb. It wasn't enough. Perhaps some upsetting and a smaller loop may have been better. I'm sure I can improve on this one.

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I think it would look nice if you did the overlapping cuts on the Fredericks cross, making the North/south cut deeper. It would help balance the size difference between the the round part and the main body.

ankh.jpg

 

Sorry for the poor drawing

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Ah, yes. I see what you mean. I didn't intend it to be a Fredericks cross, as I didn't overlap the cuts. Thanks for the drawing - that's a variation I would like to try.

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On 5/21/2018 at 10:45 PM, SFC Snuffy said:

Er, you know what an ankh represents, right? Seems an odd thing to gift to a family member. 

Not too odd a gift, if its meaning could be sumed up in a single word, it would be 'life'. As one of the most widely used symbols in ancient Egypt. Among its many uses, it could be used as a charm against sickness and disease, to promote prosperity in life, a fertility symbol or was buried with their mummies to ensure an easy transition between life and the afterlife. Because there are many ancient gold ankhs, and no/few silver ones, it is agreed that it was a symbol of the sun. Symbolizing the meeting of the sun and the horizon, or the heavens meeting the earth. It was also associated with many of the Egyptian gods, and when combined with the djed and was symbols becomes a symbol of the creator God Ptah, patron of Smith's and Craftsmen.

Ptah1.jpg.b4f7e2bf8acfb2ed741469f21fc4cd97.jpg

I always the ankh-was-djed scepter would be an interesting piece to try and make once my skills are better. Here's a closer look at a pottery version of a was-ankh found in one of the tombs. Looks like a simple enough animal head to do

wasscepter21.jpg.9074bb07fc74449f06d6ede2af52ef08.jpg

 Oh no, I just realized I said the famous last words 'looks simple enough'

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Shabumi, thanks for the history lesson. I always thought the ankh was a fertility symbol.

I had another look at your drawing and got a piece of 12mm square bar to make another one. However, I can't see how  you can make the "north/South cut'  of a Frederick's Cross deeper. There is only one overlap which creates the 'square' diamond in the centre. I guess it could be made longer by heating and then stretching the diamond.

I'm going to try John's method next - upsetting the top arm to create enough mass. A well proportioned ankh remains a challenge.

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On ‎12‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 9:06 PM, JHCC said:

I like it, but the thinness of the loop is a bit out of proportion with the other limbs. Perhaps if you upset the top limb lengthwise before splitting the loop, that would give you some more thickness to play with. 

I tried that today, John, but you will have to let me in on the secret of how you upset the top limb. I tried everything, lots of heat, part quenched etc but it just wanted to bend. I must be missing something.  Upsetting 12mm x 5mm just didn't want to happen.

In desperation, I took an alternative path to getting the mass for the loop. Folded the top over and fire welded the parts together. Then I made the split and drifted it round. The weld must have been OK because it didn't delaminate.

It needs a bit more tidying up, but I think I have much better proportions than my first try.  Here's the process: (Apologies for poor pics)

ankh a.JPG

ankh b.JPG

ankh c.JPG

ankh d.JPG

ankh e.JPG

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I'm not particularly good at upsetting, but the best success I've had comes from remembering the wise words of Alexander Weygers and Rowan Taylor: "Little corrections, little corrections. With the little corrections, we avoid the big corrections" and "When it comes to upsetting, think short and hot."

In other words, only heat the part you want to upset, and correct it the moment it starts to bend.

However, that fire weld turned out great, and that last ankh looks fantastic. Maybe just stick with that, since it works so well.

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On ‎5‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 3:10 AM, Shabumi said:

 Symbolizing the meeting of the sun and the horizon, or the heavens meeting the earth.

 Oh no, I just realized I said the famous last words 'looks simple enough'

I've also understood it to represent male and female genitalia, though to be fair that could certainly be a misunderstanding of the symbolism.

As far as 'looks simple enough,' I wish you the best of luck! :D

ausfire - Looking good!

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12 hours ago, SFC Snuffy said:

I've also understood it to represent male and female genitalia, though to be fair that could certainly be a misunderstanding of the symbolism.

That's not a misunderstanding at all. It's part of the reason its shape signified life to the Egyptians, the combination of male and female to create life. 

Ausfire, that one looks great, the angle of the arms make me think of your longhorns with ears.

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You had me scratching my head when you said you were trying to upset the upper limb. I'll try almost anything to avoid having to upset stock. Folding and forge welding was what came to mind when you posted your first Ankh.

Nice ankh Aus or maybe I should say Atta Ankh Aus? . . . Hmmm. . . Yeah, I like that better it has a better lyrical ring, nice cadence. 

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Well, I was trying the method that John suggested, but I think he must have more patience!

I haven't tried any more ankh crosses but I'm getting the troll crosses to be a bit more consistent. These are good for demos because they are so quick and people always like watching twists.

 

 

troll crosses (2).JPG

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