Earning my keep for Repair Days

So Repair Days was lot’s of fun. Ran into the students from SIU in Carbondale that I met at Penland School for Arts and Crafts. Met some new students from there as well. They helped make the experience at Repair Days even more fun than years past for me.

The first day we arrived we set up our tents, got settled and watched a demo by Fred Fenster. His assistant was my instructor at Penland, Hiroko Yamada. Fred is known for his skilled work in Pewter. Here is a great article about him and his work from Ganoskin.com.
Fred Fenster Teapot in Pewter

 His demo was about scoring and folding pewter. The demo made me want to give pewter another shot. I had a difficult time with it previously, and I feel that it is worth a shot to try it again.

Scoring and Folding demo at Repair Days
Then the next day, I started working in the Repair tent. There are several tents, one for Family Fun projects, the repair tent, the auction tent, and the dining tent. Other buildings such as the Blacksmithing shop were utilized for repairs.
Family Fun Tent

Repairs tent.
Linda, a class-mate from UALR, and I teamed up to work on a $175 repair to a candelabra. It apparently sat there for two days and no one would touch it. We were either really awesome to do it, or really stupid. The job was to remove the pitch, straighten it, and replace the pitch. Pitch is a viscous substance produced by plants or formed from petroleum. It is used as a support for thin metal for chasing and repoussé, but also as a filler for thin-walled objects, such as a candelabra.
Consulting with Richard
Removing Pitch
It took all day, mainly because we were skittish of ruining it. But we got that done and worked on resetting some knives into their knife handles.
Cooling off pitch for further finishing work

 Later that night was the gallery talk with Fred Fenster, the silent and live auctions, casting iron, dancing, and enjoying the beer Hiroko brought to us.

Master Metalsmith Fred Fenster
Gallery Talk with Fred Fenster
Casting Iron

I felt like I contributed for once this year. Last year I was a little to nervous and intimidated by the repairs. But with everyone’s generous help and friendliness, I was less intimidated, and tackled something new. I love metalsmithing!


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