Scalloping at my Bench


 I took this photo of my dad opening scallops several Christmases ago, and it has always stuck with me.

Among the many other pieces the Ruthie B. (his boat, appropriately named after my mother) has inspired for my up and coming Nautical Line is my scallop shell. Here is a peak.

To show you how I made this one, I have put together another step-by-step photo process for your enjoyment. Sit back and watch the scallop form without having to put any of the countless hours of effort I put into it.


 I missed a few steps, so we'll have to jump in here. This is a pitch bowl. The process I am about to show is called repousse' and chasing. Repousse' is the process of hammering from the underside to create a design in low relief (a dome or a convex shape of some sort). Chasing is the process of hammering the top of the piece, adding detail, etc (the opposite of repousse'). I heated the pitch until it was goopy (a technical term), and placed the sheet of metal into it. After letting it cool, I hammered it (the soon to be underbelly of the scallop) to the point above.


 Once the belly was deep enough, I turned it over. I neatly drew very straight, eye-balled lines on it.


I tapped (or "chased") the drawn lines into the design. 



 I took the sheet out of the pitch and fired off the excess pitch. I then drew the shape I needed to cut out.


 I cut it out.




 Here I am soldering the little jump ring on! Taking a photo while soldering? Very safe.


Here is the scallop, clean and pretty. This being the original, it is in copper, but I will be making it in sterling silver and gold plate. I can't wait to play with all sorts of finishes and add a few barnacles. Stay tuned!

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