When I studied at Penland in 2008, I saw people creating bowls, bracelets, chokers, and other items from a flat piece of sheet metal in a process called raising. The results are beautiful and have a special feel to them that is not possible to replicate with mass-produced items, I don’t think. I knew I wanted to try it but just did not have the time. It’s such a challenge in classes to absorb all the material presented and try all that you can.
This year, I was determined to give it a try and this is my first attempt. This bracelet was made from a sheet of 20 gauge copper in a process called anticlastic raising. What this means is the metal is being shaped in two different directions – it is being shaped downward into a bracelet form and the edges are being shaped upward to form the curve at the edges. Sounds simple enough, right?
The concept is simple, the execution – a different story. The difficulty is that the two directions you are trying to take the metal want to fight with each other. As you work to shape the bracelet downward, the curve at the edges starts to open up. As you then work to curl up the edges, the bracelet shape starts to open up. So you go back and forth, coaxing the metal to do what you want. And you have to anneal the metal – a lot.
I am thrilled with the results of my first attempt and want to try it again. I could not have made this without the guidance of and instruction from my classmate Andrea, a lovely young lady very skilled at raising. Thank you, Andrea.