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I Forge Iron

Candle holder

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Rantalin: I think it is very good of you to share what you've done. Anything that is done with a sincere effort to be creative is worth sharing. I think you are attentive to proportion and balance and that will go a long way. I wouldn't presume to suggest you change anything with your design, but I will address some execution issues that might help you in similar projects.

1) In forged work, the biggest advantage you have over a factory machine is your personal touch of the material. If you can "re-forge" the material, it makes it yours. I don't mean "texture". Never deliberately put hammer marks on anything. Rather forge your work as though you are trying to be so smooth that the dings and dents won't be there when you are done Of course that is impossible, but the result is a subtle beautiful set of facets that reflect the light and show your hand on each part.

2) The scrolls at each foot end abrubtly with the same cross section as the rest of the round stock. Take some round stock and try forging different shaped ends. Then scroll those. Work to make it one continuous curve with no "flat" spots. For example, just hammer the end flat, making sure it gradually tapers back to the round stock, like a fish tail. Then scroll that up. If it looks wrong, open it up and scroll it again. Watch someone make a scroll. Give the foot some interest.

3) In addition to working the ends, consider ways to vary the cross-section of the steel as it moves from the bottom to the top. Think of the steel as plastic or clay. Imagine what it would look like if you could make it with Playdough (presuming you could get it to stay stiff enough :) ). Then figure out or research how to make the steel do that too. You are working this steel as a suggestion of organic material with your vines and leaves. By sagging here and pulling there, you can help that image a lot.

Again, I simply suggest some techniques that I see for enhancing what I think you were aiming for artistically. It's all good.

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I second what Ed said. I'd like to add that I'm a lazy guy, so when I'm doing work with scrolls or feet, what I like to do is flatten them out to about 3/16" thick and then ding them on both sides lengthwise thoroughly with the peen of a cross peen hammer. This is my take on making a fishtail, and it is easy -- one heat to flatten and one to peen, usually, for me. It spreads a little and fancies up the end to make it look nice.

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