Our Blacksmith Shop is currently working on a project that will resonate with those of us who live near the Mississippi- a 6 foot copper Channel catfish. Here's a glimpse into the process.
First, a model for the head is sculpted out of clay. This gives the artist a physical form to take measurements off of; distance between features and amount of material can be determined.
The head then begins with several large, flat sheets of copper. Those flat copper sheets are then raised and formed through means of bending, hammering the inside/outside, annealing (heating to soften the metal), and the process repeated until identifiable features begin to emerge. The whiskers and eye sockets are then hand forged and soldered or welded on. The process is time consuming, but the results are astounding. Patience is key.
With the head and fins complete, the body is now underway. Finished product coming soon!