Sculpture I Tin Horse Mask

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.

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