Requirements: to create a wearable mask using tin and soldering.
Materials: Tin, soldering kit (iron, flux, cleaning block, brush, solder and various metalworking tools). I also used copper, brass and jewelry wire for the face decoration and knitting wool for the mane
I chose to do a stylistic horse head using primarily the tin cut into flat shapes. I then used the bender, cutting tool, roller and the ripple edge machines to bend and texturize the shapes. I had problems with the ears not setting up on the top of head as I had planned. So they wound up going out to either side. I also had difficulty with the upper cheeks of the horse. I had planned for them to go as more of a connection between the neck and face. That became problematic as the metal did not want to bend the way I wanted. This created a bit more void and empty area between the neck and the face and also aloud the neck to flex more than I planned. It did make wearing the mask a bit more stable though.
My order for assembly after cutting out the pattern from paper and transferring it to the tin with a felt tip marker was as follows. 1. Do all folds and creases in tin. I discovered that if you use a strip of blue painter tape on the edge of the tin then you can line up the bender edge to get a more even bend and fold. 2. Attach with solder the cheeks to the mane face using the flux and heat to cause the solder to flow under the two pieces. I discovered later that I should have ‘tinned’ both sections of the tin before putting them together. 3. I used a jig to start the bends of the decorative wire and finished by soldering them to the face front. Some metals use much more heat than I was able to apply to get them to solder easily. 4. I punched the holes for the mane in the center neck strip of tin, then connected the neck to head. 5. I inserted the wool yarn in the center strip thru the holes using a loop method. 6. Mane strip and ears were then attached to the face.
This project was a challenge but a lot of fun. I am already planning to use the method in part of another sculpture in 3 D design this semester. Thanks to my son-in-law, Jef, I learned a lot more than was taught in the class. I think I have a long way to go to be proficient in this type of metalwork, but next fall I get to play with welding and such! If I had access to all the big benders, little benders, cutters and such from the class, I know I would make better and more interesting sculptures.