fluted, fold formed, copper, shallow bowl

Repousse & Chasing | |
fluted, fold formed, copper, shallow bowl

This texture is hammer finished, fold formed shallow dish. The fun starts with the curves. Brad

Rick Crawford's picture

Very Nice

Very Nice, I like this a lot. It has an almost floral look to it.

Rick Crawford at Smoky Forge

Gene Olson's picture

fun shape

I started this years ago with a sketch mapping out the radial symmetry after visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Up there on the third floor in a case is about a 2 ft dia craftsman copper bowl made in about 191X (?)

It was done by a Russian emigree who had patterned it after a silver one he had seen at the Hermitage from the collection of Peter the Great. (who died in 1725) 

 Fold forming is an obvious way of making things that has been used for centuries.

It is kind of fun, and has lots of potential.

I don't have any photos of the large one, but here is  a pic of the one I started out of 18 ga. copper and about 9" dia blank. 

 18 ga copper bowl in progress

The large one was of similar gauge but i quickly realized I should have scaled the thickness down with the dia. 16oz or 20oz would have been a lot easier. One of these days I may finish it.



Gene Olson's picture

A bit more work last

A bit more work last night.



B.J. Severtson's picture

nice beginning to a raising

You must have the patience of a saint. I have raisings that are started from my college days, Too. They are going to remain unfinished. Raising does however remain another of the techniques available to me. I do combine raising as a technique in some of my pieces with fold forming. There are some major reasons to me that I perfer fold forming. First of all to develope form only from folded materail is a new approach for me. Prevoiusly folds were, at best, a minor element both in technique and in the concepts of my work. The folds themselves at times take on an organic quality that I enjoy. I hate planishing. Well that's kind of true there is a mind numbing almost meditative quality to the process that I find tedious to pleasingly redundant. The major joy I have with fold forming is that the work developes quickly into form. This technique allows me to get out of the sketch book and into the air and 3d much faster than raising. For instance this shallow bowl and the other bowl of similiar dimension were completed in the same morning. That rapid form development is almost like quick sketching in metal. That brings the completion of the piece closer in time to the design, idea phase of the process. I like my feed back to be closer than the feed back is with other techniques. That desire is nothing new to metalsmiths, but for years it remained a frustration. These are much different times than Peter the Great's day. Brad

B.J. Severtson's picture

The other one

This is the other one I made that morning.  This ten inch bowl is fold formed, the center is press work.fluted, fold formed, copper, shallow bowl, line folds: This ten inch bowl is fold formed, the center is press work.

visitor's picture


These would look wonderful in my garden as ' my favorite bird bath. Gorgeous. Mary

Gene Olson's picture

only folds, no raising

All the work save that which you do on a press on yours, the lip around the base are folds. There is no raising in the piece. This sample was mainly a study to confirm what i thought I saw in the craftsman piece at the art institute.

It was all folded to shape. There was no raising needed.
The above illustrated piece was formed in one go from an annealed blank. The pattern paper is still glued to it in spots. It was never reannealed.

The main problem was bending the 32oz stuff. It went from flat to picture 1 in a couple hours including layout (radial copy is great)
Tuning that last bit was another 1.5.

(there was some head scratch time in there uncounted as a looked for ways to get the folds they put into theirs similar. It went faster once I realized that if I folded in certain ways and then unfolded with certain sized tools, it took care of what I had originally seen as two processes in one pass.)

Elk River, MN

B.J. Severtson's picture

I sit here corrected

Very nice piece of fold forming. I guess head scratching time doesn't count It's part of the fun. It is the interrelationships of the curves and the folds that hold my attention and send me head scratching, too. For others here's an axample of what we are talking about. This form only has two folds but they control the shape of three planes.  Just two folds developes such a nice form. BradIdea development: Just two folds developes such a nice form. Brad

visitor's picture

fold forming

I am SO impressed! Such beautiful work! I have only recently started 'playing' with fold forming for small and not so small jewerly components. When making a large piece, I am assuming I would need a large ?? rolling press and a hydraulic press? Or is it possible to do without the hydraulic press?
Do you ever do workshops?
Airville PA

scrollerbear's picture

Very Nice! Mark

Very Nice!


babramc's picture

for sale?

Beautiful! I found this site while searching for interesting shallow copper bowls to purchase. How can I contact you? I accept e-mails on this site. Thank you.

B.J. Severtson's picture


I am now accepting E-mails. Brad

68jman's picture

Very beautiful piece

Very beautiful piece Brad.

B.J. Severtson's picture

It's amazing what you can do with a sheet of copper

I still do fold forming. There are a few more to this series. The hammering involved in these is only to create texture. Brad