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.
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.
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.
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.