"Metal is a plastic Medium"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Notes on the Hydraulic press and deep draw technique

Notes on the Hydraulic Press and Deep Draw Techniques:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Can Two halves make a whole?

Every time I put together the two halves of sheet metal that were formed from side number one and side number two of a Masonite die, I always relish the thought of cutting off the flange from the sheet metal completely. I usually leave a small flange on each piece.  If they were cut off completely the difference could be seen if the edges didn’t meet up with each other.
I have been told that the space in between the inside edges of the two formed halves could be filled with half round wire and then the flange could be cut away.  The piece cant be completely closed though.
I have also been told that the two halves can be tig welded together.
I think I came up with another idea. The other day I brazed two halves together that were formed from each side of a die.
They were brazed from the inside.  I was able to do that because each half was half of a circle and there was an opening that allowed me to do so.
I filled the gap in between the edges of the two halves, with brazing rod. While I was brazing I kept thinking of the times when I was told that solder wouldn’t jump gaps. Hopefully I’ll prove those people wrong. It worked so far but I’ll find out for sure after I cut away the flange.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I am still making things using the Masonite die forming process. I haven't used my hydraulic die forming equipment in awhile.
 I am eager to build this into more than just a paying hobby.
This past week I started a new online shop at   http://www.mi-made.com/ralphparusartmetal

                      .  "Hand made in Michigan" is a site which promotes handcrafted products made in Michigan.

Pisces Wall art

Desktop Pumpkin

Desktop Peach

Pisces Wall art

I am searching for a widget similar to the Etsy Pocket Shop widget on the top of the right side bar of this  blog. One which will display all of the products and prices in any online shop similar to Etsy, and allow a person to link to the product's in the shop. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Forming Art!

Forming Art!

I have always been intrigued by how things are formed. And not just the fascination of watching the heavy equipment being used to construct a building. When a documentary that showed what went on behind the scenes of filming a particular movie was broadcast on TV, my eyes were glued to the TV set. I was captivated by how the movie was physically put together after it was written..
And then came the fascination of seeing things being built on an assembly line, especially if those things were being made of metal. I suppose it is because of my upbringing in Detroit.  Being raised in a town with such a heavy background in manufacturing will tend to do that to someone.

People have been forming art for thousands of years. Ever since prehistoric times people were forming sculpture. Even back then the artists were saying,  “This is who we are” with the figurines that they created.

Sculpture is an art medium that allows the artist to form her/his impressions into whatever material they are working with.
Keep forming those impressions into metal.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


A very good article on gathering inspiration from the work of other artists without stealing their ideas.

Inside and Out

by Luann Udell

My advice to you today? Find your own distinct balance point of gazing inward, and outward. Recognize the signs that you’ve explored far enough. Know just how much internet surfing you can handle, and set your personal limits. Afraid of being copied? Step outside of that little spiritual prison. [...] 

Read the rest of this article at:

This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

For a complimentary subscription, visit: http://www.fineartviews.com

Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 metal forming workshops
Sometime this spring, summer or fall, take a small vacation and learn something new at the same time. Then use that new information to advance your career goals in forming your metal art.
The workshops can be as short as a day or two or as long as a few weeks. If you are really lucky you could find an art residency that might allow you to live where you do your metalwork,for more than a few months.
There are plenty in the United States and plenty more in other parts of the world.
This is what I have found so far by doing a search with Google.

Penland School of Crafts,Penland North Carolina: penland.org/metals/index.html

There are plenty of classes in metal but take a good look at:

JUNE 10 - JUNE 22, 2012
Michael Gayk - Raising a Little Containment
We will investigate the vessel on an intimate scale while emphasizing the function of containment. Exploring the malleability of nonferrous metal and the plasticity this allows in the forming of sheet material, we will create holloware that emphasizes its contents through form and surface embellishment. Students will experiment with combining a number of processes, from angle raising and stretching to fabrication and hydraulic die forming. Basic soldering, sawing, and filing skills required. Code 02mb


The Peck School of Arts at University of Wisconsin MilWaukee has Metal arts classes that only last a few days.


July 23 – 25 (6-9pm)
DIE FORMING: Make a Tea Strainer
Instructor: Stephanie Voegele
It’s teatime! Explore the process of hydraulic die forming and decorative sawing and piercing to create your own tea strainer. Use acrylic dyes to make a sterling silver three-dimensional form that you can customize with your own designs.

Buffalo State college. April 29-30 2012

This sounds exciting
Hydraulic Die Forming Workshop with Chris Irick
UCSD Crafts Center
UC San Diego 9500 Gilman Dr. 0338, La Jolla, CA 92093 (858) 534-2021

I do not believe there is a date yet for this class
Hydraulic press and die forming workshop

But the UCSD Crafts Center has many other Metal Arts classes as well.

I will be updating this list whenever I see another metal forming workshop listed on the web. It could be from anywhere in the world.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Movie Quote to Get You Moving

by Luann Udell

There comes a time where it just seems too hard to do another show, to face another windy rainstorm at an art festival. Too hard to master yet another social medium in order to promote our work; to approach yet another gallery that will probably say no; to apply for yet another exhibition. At some point, it just seems easier to settle for what we know will work; to stick with the techniques we’ve already mastered; to answer every challenge with a heart-heavy “I tried that once and it didn’t work.” What if all it took were twenty seconds of insane courage? [...]

Read the rest of this article at:


This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

For a complimentary subscription, visit www.fineartviews.com: