Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

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Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

Postby Chris S » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:53 pm

Greetings Iron Brushers,

I wanted to share a piece that I am working on that is going to be a gift for a friend who is a huge Star Wars fan.

I was also hoping for some suggestions for a protective coating to finish non-ferrous works that will be worn with frequency. I have been looking at urushi, but I am turned off by the toxicity and curing times to render said toxicity inert.

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This patina had a speckled hen egg look to it (I am assuming due to oxidation) and has since been stripped. I added the photo to show the color because it was almost exactly what I envisioned in my mind. It took a very long time to achieve this deep reddish-purple but it was worth the wait. I was broken-hearted to strip it, but it had to be done.

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Overall, I am about 90% happy with this piece. Given that this is really only my 3rd piece using uchidashi (and maybe my 8th or 9th piece of work overall) I am pretty thrilled with the results!

Cheers folks!
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Re: Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

Postby Steve » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:09 pm

Hi Chris,

I can't really offer any critique, as I've yet to try my hand at uchidashi. But to my untrained eye, it seems a very tidy work (I like the sharp edges). It is too bad the colour wasn't to your liking; it was lovely.

As to a protective coating, I could suggest a clear coat of lacquer (there are some clear, water-based types on the market if you don't want the older, chemical stuff). Other than that, maybe tung oil and wax, but I'm not sure how durable that might be over time.
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Re: Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

Postby jhobson » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:27 am

Sweet!
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Re: Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

Postby Marcus » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:30 am

Hi Chris,
I would say you have had really good success with this project. :froggy: The height you achieved on the side walls and the consistent thickness is not an easy task. :dizzy: I think the recipient will be thrilled to get it! If you haven't tried the urushi before I might give it a whirl (test pieces first of course ;) ). It's not that difficult to get good results with the baked on method and as long as you are careful with handling i.e. gloves etc... you should have no troubles. I went down to goodwill and picked up a toaster oven for $8 for dedicated urushi use. It does tend to darken the patina just a bit, but it is very durable. I've even used it on a few rings I've made with antler with good success. Just my $.02 :biggrin:
Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!
Cheers,
Marcus :biggrin:
If you are interested this is what I've been using https://www.amazon.com/Seshime-Pure-Urushi-Lacquer-Japan/dp/B00H86VQ48/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1515410644&sr=8-3&keywords=urushi
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Re: Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

Postby Chris S » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:05 pm

Thanks for the feedback gents :)

RE: Steve - I wanted to test some sharp edges and a raised body to see how far I could push it. The color was actually almost exactly what I wanted, it was just oxidized and was not uniform sadly. :angry: I also discovered two blemishes after cleaning it that I could not abide, so I stripped it and fixed em.

RE: Marcus - Thanks buddy! Full disclosure, there are some dents in the walls on the interior curvatures of the wings. I think I could have gone with slightly less volume and maintained better wall thickness and had the material not stretch so much. I think in any confined space like that where you are defining two disparate walls opposite each other, thinning will be somewhat unavoidable. I was reluctant to futz with it once I had reached a certain point. It serves as a glaring reminder of future 'testing' that will need mindful attention in subsequent works. :smart:

Also, perhaps I could bug you a bit more about your process with the baked urushi? I would really love to get a coating on there that could stand up to a few years of use (I doubt this will get worn with great frequency). I have a previous attempt at this piece that I was thinking of using to play around with some patina layering, perhaps I should just dive right in with the urushi.

I am also considering options for storage/presentation of this piece. I was thinking of maybe a tsuba fitting kiribako with a pillow, but I am having trouble locating a decent source. I have an email out to Namikawa-Hebei at the moment for an order of 10 (I have some tsuba that need homes too!) but have yet to hear back.

Cheers folks!
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Re: Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

Postby Darrel L » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:56 pm

Hi Chris-

Nice finish and nice patina, so you want to protect both. There are a couple of alternatives to urushi, such as Cashew and spray varnish which have to benefit of being clear whereas all urushis leave some color of their own. Urushi is also very viscous whie these alternatives are thiner and go on easier. Nevertheless, if Renasiance wax will not do, there are some advantages to using urushi if you take some precautions- 1) urushi can be diluted with turpentine, and 2) because urushi takes several days to polymerize, your brush strokes will disappear. Dust is your greatest enemy during this period while the brush strokes settle to a uniform level. In fact, even new brushes contain some dust which will show up on the paint surface, so you need to clean your brush prior to opening and filtering the urushi. You usually filter the urishi through a fine washi paper which Namakawa sells. There are other sources of urushi and at least one of these advertises lower allergic levels- in my experience, the lower levels are due to lower urushi concentrations and the urushi is not a viscous as the Namakawa urushi. If you need a second coat (e.g., due to dust), you can clean your brush in turpentine or in soy oil (but you will need to rinse out the soy in turpentine before using with urushi again). I have never baked urushi, but I do know that urushi smoke can cause you a lot of discomfort if you get downwind, so I would avoid the area while the cooking is going on. I've evaluated at the urushoil molecule and it seems to have low volatility, but you can smell it and I have had very intense reactions even when completely covered with nitrile gloves. About 8% of the population are not allergic to urushiol (Ford is one of the 8%!). There are sources of urushi and tsuba boxes stateside and you can avoid some shipping costs. Finding purple chirimen silk is more difficult. I have roll of white chilimen that you could dye, and could spare what you need. I also have urushi, but you would need to get down to Williamsburg for that (timing was almost right as I was at the Freer 2 weeks ago).
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Re: Star Wars themed copper pendant formed in uchidashi

Postby Chris S » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:46 pm

Thanks Darrel!

As with everything on the interwebs, there seems to be a great deal of misinformation about urushi and the factors surrounding its use. I am still contemplating what I am going to do for the finish for this piece.

Essentially, I am looking to develop/acquire a long term, durable solution to protecting jewelry from frequent use and near constant skin contact. I am not looking for the quickest or easiest solution necessarily, but the less time spent doing these things allows me to move on to the next project. :smartass:

I did manage to get a response from Namikawa-Hebei about the boxes and the price point was very agreeable. Hopefully the quality is on point!

I appreciate the offer of assistance! I will respond to this thread when I figure out what I am going to do.

Cheers!
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