Rich Waugh's blog



Genealogy help re: Oppi Untracht

I received the following request yesterday from a visitor to ArtMetal. Sadly, the poster she would like to contact was not logged in so I have no contact information. The original post was way back in November of 2008, but I put this out there in the hope that that person will see it and respond. Or someone else with information for Barbara. In many ways it is a small world so it could happen, right?

New Copper Project

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I've been busy on a new commission this past week, making a pair of copper vessels.   These are to be smaller versions of the large evaporating dishes used on the old sugar cane plantations here in the Caribbean.   The actual ones are anywhere from three to six feet in diameter and usually made from either copper or cast iron.  The syrup pressed from the sugar canes is put in these dishes and heated over a charcoal fire for days and days until the syrup is reduced to molasses, a more compact form for shipping to the homeland where it is then fermented and distilled into rum.  There are literally hundreds of these things scattered around the island, mostly being used as "yard art" or planters/fish ponds, and they are in big demand by decorators. 

Just finished

I just finished up this fossil mount for a client.  The ammonite fossil slab is about 22'x28"x3" and weighs a bit over a hundred pounds, I would guess.  The size and weight made designing a wall mounting system a bit of a challenge, but I finally decided to mount it much as though it was a big precious stone set in a piece of jewelry.  The prongs are silicon bronze and the remainder is stainless steel, as it is mounted on an outdoor gallery wall and has to be rust proof.fossilfossilfossil mountedfossil mounted

Latest Project - so to speak

Time and the elements have finally caught up with my truck, it seems. I bought it slightly used about nine years ago because I wanted the utility body for carrying tools.  The stock rack was handy for carrying 20' lengths of steel, too.  Unfortunately, the cabinets in the utility body are just too shallow to hold a number of my tool boxes, so they wound up being carried in the cab anyway.  The utility body also costs me pretty heavily on gas mileage.   Still, it was paid for so I used it.

Scissor-making in China

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Check out this news story on scissor-making in China.  In the video clip, the smith puts the steel into an old brick forge and heats it - in an induction coil!

Another good friend lost.

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Sadly, I have to report that another blacksmith and all-around truly great guy had just died. My good friend Dave Boyer finally succumbed after nine years of battling colon cancer. Dave said he kept putting off the colonoscopy because he had other things he wanted do, like go cruising in his sailboat, and when he finally did get the exam done it was discovered he had colon cancer. He didn't just have cancer; it had metastasized and spread to his liver and lung. He was immediately started on an aggressive treatment plan including surgery and chemotherapy. Over the course of the next nine years Dave participated in several clinical trials of new chemotherapy drugs in an effort to keep the cancer from spreading. He finally ran out of new drugs that would work and the cancer, which by now had spread to both lungs, killed him. Fortunately, Dave only went in hospital on Easter and was moved to hospice care just a couple of days ago, so he didn't have a long and painful death.

New Project

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For quite a while my wife Sally has been asking me to make her a stand for this wooden box she has. After some years of procrastinating I finally got around to doing something about it.  Of course, as I so often do, a simple project turned into something much more complex once I got started.  The final result is absurd overkill for the intended purpose, but I do like the result.

Two Greats Pass On

I'm sorry to have to report that two of the real greats of metalsmithing just recently passed away.  Jack Andrews, author of The New Edge of the Anvil and other books, as well as founder of Skipjack Press, and Brent Kington, longtime Professor of Metalsmithing at Southern  Illinois University, are no longer with us.  While they may be gone, they will not be forgotten, I'm sure.

Great Conference Sept. 21-23

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Hot ziggety damn, it's that time of year again!  In just three weeks I'll be off to my favorite conference.

The Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil (SOFA) will be hosting their annual QuadStates Roundup from Friday, September 21 through Sunday, September 23 at the Miami County Fairgrounds in Troy, OH. This is one of the premier conferences for blacksmiths in the U.S. and it's a "must attend" event for me.  I'm delighted that my health will allow me to attend and connect once again with all my friends and other smiths from around the country. 

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