I derive my ability to create fine copper weathervanes from great
teachers such as the Tinkhams and my mentor Richard Bernier, though over
the years I have developed my own style. I am recognized for my ability to capture a
subject's character and spirit in copper, as well as my unique use of accents. For
example, I embellish several of my weathervanes with 23 karat GOLD
LEAF, Palladium (a non-tarnishing silver substitute), and realistic glass eyes to
highlight a subject's features. Because these highlights do not corrode or fade, they
remain a prevalent part of the design for years to come.
Since the Weathervane is viewed from a distance, its design requires emphasis on the overall pattern, therefore I enhance certain design characteristics such as profile, facial detail and contour lines. I draw my designs full size on paper and transfer them to copper using carbon paper. Using snips, I cut the design from .020 "Revere" sheet copper and trace the detail lines with a marker. One piece of copper is cut and detailed for each side of the profile.
I visualize the finished part before I begin. The details are "chased" into the design by repousse'-hammering the sheet-copper using different hammers and special shaping tools that I fashion myself. The repousse' technique in weathervane making is borrowed from goldsmiths, silversmiths, and the noble blacksmith, who have been familiar with it for centuries. This process produces relief with a richly sculptured surface. Next, I stretch the copper into the subject's shape by hammering it against different surfaces such as wood, rubber, or even a stack of newspapers. Then, beating the copper against a hard surface, such as steel or granite, smoothes the hammer marks. Once the sides have the desired shape, I hammer a solder edge along the outline of the design. The two sides of the weathervane, thus fashioned, are matched and soldered together to make a single, hollow figure. The joints are sanded and buffed smooth. Finally a bearing is soldered into the spindle tube and the tube is inserted into the figure.
At this point I clean the weathervane and attach the eyes, if
applicable. I often bring my weathervanes to life with realistic glass
eyes that are created for taxidermy. These detail- accurate, hand fired
and colored glass eyes are an art form unto themselves. Last, I apply
Gold Leaf, verdigris, or bronze patina. Then I place the figure on a
post in my studio so as to be viewed for the first time.
Weathervanes by David Ferro - Bio and Portfolio
you would like to learn how to make your own weathervanes, David offers
one class each year.
Copyright 2013 Ferro Weathervanes.
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