It is best for a beginner to start with the making of a bowl. Take a piece of 19-gauge sheet copper, and with the aid of the compass make two inner circles, with a 2- and the other with a 1-inch radius, keeping the same centre. The copper must then be cut outside of the outer circle with the shears, and the edges must be filed to remove any roughness. Then place the hard-wood block in the vice. A work-bench is very desirable for doing metal work, but, as it is not essential, the edge of a table or a shelf can be used as a substitute. In the end of the hard-wood block a circular depression half an inch deep and 2 inches wide must be carved. After the block has been adjusted in the vice, place the metal on it, and hammer with the mallet three-quarters of an inch from the edge, from the hollow, continuing in the circles until the inner circle is reached. The round-faced steel hammer is then used. Strike with even blows, so that no ridges will be left between 2 the impressions, turning the bowl round and' round until the desired shape is obtained.
The next process consists of placing the metal over a flat piece of hard wood, hammering gently over the entire surface until all the uneven places have disappeared. It is important that the bottom of the bowl should be perfectly flat, and this is gradually brought about by careful hammering.
After this, the copper must be cleansed. This is done by immersing it in a pickle consisting of two tablespoonfuls of sulphuric acid diluted in a gallon of water. Rinse well and dry.
The colouring of the bowl can then be upon. It may be rubbed with oil, and then subjected to a slow even heat, or, if a bright finish is desired, it must be rubbed with different grades of emery-paper. Copper, being a more ductile metal, is much better than brass for beating up into as deep an object as a bowl. The process of heating gets it into a pliable condition, as the copper stiffens by being hammered. The annealing may be done by placing the metal in a stove or furnace, or by forcing the gas flame upon it. Heat it to a rosy red and cool slowly.
Easy Shapes To Make In Repousse Work.
From Show Rooms Of The National Society Of Craftsmen, New York