Clay Study

2 12 2009


The following images represent the iron version of the “clay-study” located further down on this page. This will be the form used in completing the chandeliers.

The following images depict a study in clay of a Celtic knot. The design is intended to be a section that will be repeated 
in two matching chandeliers.

Often, a three-dimensional study is necessary for both sculptural and utilitarian applications.  Going through the motions of forming a desired motif with the clay 
allows for a clearer path to a desired motif in metal. It can streamline the tool designs necessary to arriving at the design,
 clarify certain tricky assembly issues, it doesn’t require heat and exorbitant amounts of time, and plasticine can be reformed 
almost infinitely.

The issues pertaining to this project occur in the initial layout and measuring of the “slit-and drift” assembly of the knot.
 This technique has been utilized since time immemorial, and can be found in many pieces of fine metalwork around Milwaukee.
 Theoretically, the material is displaced to either side of the bar going through the other. Rather than drilling a hole and removing
 material, thus requiring a larger diameter piece of stock, finer and more uniform stock sizes will accomplish the identical task.

In this case, one bar will “pass through” another bar nine times. The stock sizes are identical and 5/16″ round. It is absolutely
 critical that the openings are perfectly spaced or the final piece will look messy, even to an untrained viewer. Once the nine
 openings are forged into the bar the two bends will be made. This will align the openings for the other pieces to be inserted and
 welded– finalizing the assembly of the knot.

Each fixture will have four to eight of these depending on the ultimate design.

Study in clay of a section for a light fixture. Eventually it will be forged in iron.





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