This is by all odds the simplest and easiest of all art metal work and you won't need any practice to make a good job; then the tools and materials cost but very little and the finished work is really pretty.
These are very few indeed and include (1) a pear-shaped mallet for stippling; (2) a tracing point; (3) a couple of modeling tools; (4) an awl with a tempered point, and (5) a metal folder, all of which are shown at A in
You will also need (a) a sheet of designs; (b) a sheet of carbon, or impression paper; (c) a dozen or more split shanks to fasten the edges of the work together; (d) a drawing board about 12 x 18 inches on the sides of which the sheet metal is tacked while you are working it, and (e) some thumb tacks for tacking the work to the board.
Fig. 38a. The Tools You Need For Pierced Brass Work
Fig. 38B. A Pierced Brass Candle Shade
You will need too, of course, the sheet metal and this can be of brass, copper or German silver and you can buy sheets of these metals that are already cut out for candle shades, lanterns, photo-frames and numerous other articles with the designs marked on them ready to use 30 or you can buy the sheet metal and the designs separately and then transfer and cut them out yourself.
30 All tools and materials for pierced metal work can be bought of Frost and Adams, Boston, Mass.
An outfit for pierced brass work can be bought for as little as 60 cents and you can buy any number of brass or copper cutouts with the designs stamped on them for 25 cents each, or of German silver for 50 cents each.
The first thing to do is to lay the sheet of metal with the design on it on your drawing board and fasten it there with thumb tacks.
Now with your stippling awl punch little holes about 1/16 inch apart all along the outline of the design. The background is then stippled with the awl, that is, dotted all over but not punched through, and the closer the dots are the prettier it will look.
Use a small modeling tool to put the veins in the leaves and after you have done this use a larger modeling tool and shape up the leaves or whatever the design may be.
To do this grip the tool in your hand and press it hard on the edge of the leaf and force it in toward the vein and at the same time ease up on it. This is all there is to the actual work of piercing brass.
After you have made the design take some brass polish, put it on a little wad of cheese cloth and rub off the remaining marks and then polish it with a clean cloth.
Since the brass or other metal for pierced brass work is very thin you will have to back it up with thin wood, although candle shades and other small articles can be used as they are. A design for a candle shade is shown at B and the finished candlestick at C, while one for a toast panel that can be hung on the wall with a Venetian bent iron hanger which I described on page 76 is shown at D.
Fig. 38D. A Pierced Brass Toast Sign