Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Foldforming with Cynthia...

Etsmetal member Cynthia Del Giudice's work is earthy and bold yet sexy and ethereal. She recently started experimenting with foldforming and found that is a perfect fit for her. The following post illustrates her new discovery:

"I ordered this book "Foldforming" by Charles Lewton-Brain through Amazon.com. It arrived pretty quickly, considering the distance. And just as quickly, I read it halfway, and immediately tried my hand at it.

I didn't have a suitable hammer in my jewelry toolbox, so I had to search my husband's shop. I found a hammer which was too big for this technique and tiny pieces I was experimenting, but since it was the only one I had at hand I went ahead and tried it. After I folded and hammered with much difficulty, I annealed and stared at the pieces of copper with a little disappointment at my lack of visible results. After the pieces were cool enough to handle, I started opening them, and to my amazement, revealed very unpredictable and beautiful shapes.

Here are my first attempts at foldforming. I think I am in love...


I didn't know this, but foldforming is a revolutionary and groundbreaking technique just recently "invented" by the author of this book. It is a "conceptual, physical, and intuitive approach to metalsmithing that is informed by the natural characteristics of metals." He acknowledges many people for its development, including his German teacher: Klaus Ullrich. I like how he describes this teacher taught him that "the marks of process are compositional design choices. Every Hammer or file mark is a design decision as well as part of a process." "In the case of fusing, for instance, this turns the mistake, "I melted it" into the discovery, "What a lovely surface.""

This approach to working with metals, or any medium for that matter, is what attracts me to this technique. I value unpredictability (I like surprises), and am not a perfectionist (far from it). This means I like to play with chance. I also value marks of time, wear, patinas of time, etc."

Cynthia has been busy continuing her experiments and we are all excited to see how she will be incorporating these techniques into her jewelry designs.

You can find more information about foldforming (including his earlier books and DVDs) on Charles Lewton-Brain's website here. Happy Hammering!

6 comments:

novadesigns said...

very cool! I think I need to make a trip to the book store.

Fru said...

Cynthia don't you love this book?

Charles Lewton-Brain is a great jeweler and a fantastic teacher, his books (I also have the hinge one) are very clear and informative!

And just one last thing: folding paper isn't it fascinating!!
Like you I'm very thrilled with this technique, I haven't start yet my experiments but I very much looking forward to it!

Cynthia Del Giudice said...

Thank you Nova, and Fru!
Fru: What are you doing in NY? Did you move?
I should get that hinge one too. :)

bella-bijoujewellery said...

WOW! That is so cool, definetely a technique I wanna try!

Roberta said...

I too have the book and have been trying to get something to look good. I don't have too much trouble with one fold but multiple folds are so hard to open.....All the "dams"..

Annealing only seems to go so far with that. Do you have that problem as well? In the book he makes opening them look so easy...but I don't find it to be that way. Do you?

Cynthia Del Giudice said...

Roberta, thanks for your comment. I didn't find it difficult to open, but I was using a pretty thin sheet. It might get more difficult with thicker gauges. He does use a blunt tool to do it.

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