Friday, December 28, 2012

Starting the Golden Eagle

The Beginning of the Body

This is the very humble start of the Golden Eagle body.  Basically starting with an oversize piece of annealed copper sheet with a centerline drawn with a marker.  As this progresses the base of the wings will be added.  This will include the muscles that control the wings.  This is new to me and think this will be more accurate to include the muscles on the body and not on the ends of the wings.

Forming the Wing Muscles

The wing muscles are formed and the top of the body are fitted and tacked.  The opening shown is where the neck and head are joined to the body.  Hopefully all the copper will transition smoothly to the next.  If not....copper scrap is running $2.40 per pound.  This looks rather unconventional but it will work.  If this doesn't work there might be a long pause between blogs.
This eagle will have a wingspan of about 24" and even now I would like to have one myself.
                     Tim Summerville, copper artist

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mallard Finished


Mallard Finished

Please enjoy these nice large photos of the finished mallard duck.  The sculpture has been waxed and well illuminated. 
I learned one thing from this piece, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck".                        Thanks,   Tim Summerville

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mallard Wing and Leg Detail

Primary Flight Feathers

The primary flight feathers are ready to be shaped to fit in the wing.  This is something new that I am trying, my thinking is that with individual feathers more curvature can be formed.  During flight these feathers show more deflection during the downstroke of the wing.  As the process of making the wing continues we will see if this works (actually I already know because the wing and mallard is done).

Starting the Leg

To help with the size, shape and placement of the leg, a paper mock-up was created.  This really helps because I can preview the finished copper.  There is probably a "mallard with a paper leg" joke but nothing comes to mind.  During the creative process sometimes we tend to get too serious.

This photo shows the underside of the wing completed.  There is hidded support metal inside the wing to strengthen it for mounting this bird outside in high winds.
All metals are silver\gray color...except gold and copper.    Tim Summerville

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mallard Wings

First Wings

The mallard face is finished and the two body halves are joined.  When joining the halves together I start with the head, making sure the eyes are directly opposite when view from above.  In the past I have made this mistake and the position of the eyes were wrong...bad mistake, really bad mistake.  The head is relative small and there is little adjustment but the remaing body is larger and can be "tweaked" if needed. 

The tail feathers were drawn on paper, then transfered to copper, hammered into shape and then brazed on the mallard body.

Extra copper is left at the end of wing during the hammering process.  This extra copper is trimmed to fit around the mallard body  All wings are first created as a straight wing and then hammered to form a wing that is curved.  A flying bird's wing actually flexes during flight and this must be included to add realism to the copper.  This sounds like Bird Wing University.

                           Make Something out of Nothing, and Good Luck,  Tim Summerville
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Beginning the Copper Mallard


Beginning the Copper Mallard 

I have started a full sized hammered copper sculpture of a mallard duck.  This will be auctioned at the annual meeting of Ducks Unlinited.  It is my sincere hope there will be plenty of interest once this mallard is completed.  A photo album will accompany the mallard duck and will be given to the successful bidder.

This photo shows the very beginning of forming the body.  As the copper moves ridges of copper develop.  This are worked down, creating a more rounded body.

Copper has been trimmed close to shape around the body areas and extra copper is shown around the neck and head.  More refining will be necessary before the two halves are ready to be brazed together.

I think this will be a really nice sculpture and I would like one for myself.  It's amazing how the artist can identify with the artwork after hours of researching and planning.  Adding to this is watching the piece develop as each phase is completed.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hummingbird scupture

Two Hummingbirds with Hollyhocks

The two hummingbirds with hollyhocks is finished and was delivered the their new home.  This picture is compliments of the owners and it is always nice to see the scuplture in its environment.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hummingbirds Feeding

  Using this picture as a reference, this commission will create a copper sculpture of two hummingbirds feeding on the full blossoms of the Hollyhock stalks.

Work is proceeding nicely.  The two buds and three flowers are finished and being brazed the the tapered copper stem.  For effect I suspended a hummingbird in place while the clamp holds the lower flower.

 Plans are to make some lower leaves and mount this on a wooden base, making a nice table top sculpture.

Create Something...Visit my website.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Start of a Copper Heron

In the previous blogs I featured a heron that was in the process of construction.  Now I have a commission for a similar heron and would like show the beginning of the creative process.

As a general rule the start consist of an oversized piece of annealed 16 oz. copper.  As the work progresses it is easy to determine where to trim and what needs to be formed.  Usually the first half of the body is well refined and this can be used as a guide for the rougher second half of the body.   

The Two Halves of the Heron Body in Progress

This shows the progress of the Heron.  The first half is more refined and is used as a map to guide the shaping of the second half.

When I became intested in copper sculptures I could find little imformation on the subject.  I hope this helps the next artist.  Build Something.  Visit my webpage.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Copper is Copper


Copper Fire Pit Cover

Last week I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a commission for this fire pit cover.  The pure straight lines of the folded seams would show any deflection as a glaring mistake.  This is a good reason to continue making freehand sculptures.  There are no straight lines on a heron.


Here is a constuction photo showing the plywood disk that is use in the building process.  Without this plywood the finished cover might not be round.  A hand-twisted copper handle.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The completed Copper Heron

Today the completed heron posed for her newest family portrait.  The morning sun highlighted the verigated colors of the copper and the fresh coat of wax provided a soft luster to the metal.  I felt like a wedding photographer trying to get the light just right. 

This heron is displayed in the front entrance to my home.  This is the third heron that his taken residence here because is a display area until it sells.  His head is turn slightly as if he is looking down the stone walkway waiting for the next visitor.

Here is a closer look. 

It was ask if additional support was necessary to support the wings.  During assembly additional copper support in installed in the body halves.  Structural copper elements are hidden inside the wing which aligns with the support inside the body.   

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shaping and Brazing Wing

Today the wings and tail were hammered into shape.  It is possible to twist the wing section by applying pressure with a chisel on the individual feathers.  This creates a very believeable wing suggesting motion that you would see in a "real" heron.  The heron's head is turned and the legs also are off center showing a bird turning in flight.  So much nicer than a sculpture where all the elements are in a straight line and static. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Completing the Heron's foot

This is getting close to the final part of the process.  Here is the "thumb" being brazed to the foot.  Additional copper alloy filler rod is melted and allowed to flow to form the final texture of the foot.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Heron takes shape

Work continues on the copper heron sculpture.  The wings are waiting to be hammered into shape.  The brazing is complete on the halves of the body.