Friday, March 25, 2011

Butterfly Farmer !

Back some time ago on another bat channel I posted a blog called Butterfly Farmer. I found it, I thought I'd lost it. I thought you might enjoy reading it. From deep in the archives. I still get involved in butterfly farmer conversations. I still do some fold forming, too.
Where can I learn about fold forming?  SO   " Butterfly Farmer"
Well you started here. How about staying here a little longer? Many of us here do some fold forming, with a wide variety of results, viva la difference. There is much to learn. Hang on here we go! Over the years I've referred to myself as Artist, Jeweler, metal-smith, craftsman, and goldsmith. I've earned those titles. But always found them to be a bit pretentious, Real conversation killers and not very accurate. There needed to be a better term. I found a name for my career field quite by accident. I am a butterfly farmer. It's a difficult career choice to get ones head around. But basically I take something the rest of the world doesn't even see: an egg on the backside of a leaf, a caterpillar, or a piece of copper and I watch it change. When it becomes something cool, beautiful I release it. It's very hard work, but I've found it very freeing. Should you decide that you too are a butterfly farmer then here is my suggestion. Rush (it's the last time you ever have to rush) out and buy a spray bottle that will make a mist. fill it with water. Use this to spray your forehead, arms, upper body before anyone sees you working. It helps. Ah you laugh. That's good.  It's easier to see and learn when we stop taking this stuff and ourselves so seriously. Promise me right now that you'll never tell any one how much fun this is. It's work. Remember that. It's important, you know? For your first lesson you will need a sketch book, If you can't afford that, find a paper bag. The weight of the paper is important. Some Chinese take out food delivered to you in one of those paper containers. The biggest sheet of copper you can buy. Not a foil but just thick enough that you can still bend it with your fingers with a little effort. A pair of scissors and a tin snips are also handy to have. Has the take out food arrived yet? Ok in the mean time we can get started. Make your self a stack of papers about 4" sort of square. Fold one of the sheets in half, open it up easily lay it on the table in front of you and stare at it until you see that it's not flat anymore. Make two folds on another sheet parallel is good, open it up. Bring two edges together. Observe that from flat (bad) and straight (bad) you have made curves good. Take a break..Eat the Chinese food if you must. I don't care I want you to see the paper container that the stuff came in. If yours came in a Styrofoam thing that's vacuum forming and will not be covered in this class. Reorder until you get a box thing. Stare at the empty box thing pick it up let your mind digest it. Make one out of paper. It's a 3D solid it's a cold construction, it's origami. Origami is not where we are going. Make yourself some copper rectangles squares circles ect. 3" sort of. Fold one in half. A hammer is a good thing, a mallet it up..That's origani not where we are going Yet. Take one of your pcs of copper Long rectangle is best. fold it in half lengthwise. Hammer the folded edge. don't straighten it out you want it to curve.
open up this fold. resist flattening it out. Straight Bad curve good flat bad. Stare at what your hands have done. Repeat with a new pc of copper this time hammer the folded edge only until you have a real curve a circle maybe. open it up. Did the fold crack? You can prevent this if you like by annealing the copper before you open it. But from here on the condition of the metal is important. Annealed folds react differently from hardened folds when they are opened. Try it.
Reaching that point is the beginning of fold forming metal. Watch your hands watch the metal..every time your hands make the metal do something cool stop set it aside. This evening I want you to ponder those forms you created. You have made "line folds" basic line folds. You've also discovered that you have the ability to declare things cool. That's power! At this point you should use the spray bottle mist only. Take a sheet of paper square,fold opposing corners together to create a rectangle with a folded x gather the triangle shaped areas together so that the folds are on the outside should look like a folded x shape.
Do this in copper...pinch the triangles to the center. Forge those folds so that they curve. anneal forge, anneal forge..each time your curve should get greater.
The metal move more. Open it up declare it cool. do it with a circle an oval ect. We love pictures. ponder more. Get that take out Chinese food container. What would happen if? The answers to that question become your personal repertoire.
That concludes lesson one. next time T folds stay tuned there are many teachers here. Brad Butterfly farmer Might have a field trip.

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