Wayne Collins

Heritage Small, 2023
27 x 11 x 11 in
The stalk , stem, leaves and flowers are shaped using a combination of modern welding techniques and historical blacksmithing. I have designed and built several tools to help with the blacksmithing process. The base or container is inspired by jewelry and presentation boxes from the Victorian Era. The blue finish is a historic process often referred to as case hardening, it's earliest known use was to toughen medieval armor, through history this process has been used for the production of tools, firearms,and knives.
The brass finish is actually hot plating and is a way to protect the base metal from rust , I call it hot brass transfer , a very similar method is used to get the copper finish on the leaves. Blackening finish is achieved by heating and chemical application, the finish is a rust inhibiter and was used to protect the barrels of early muzzleloading rifles. There is a fairly narrow window to work with in forging, not hot enough and the metal won't move, too hot and the piece will melt like wax. The same can be said for each of the finishes , but the window is even narrower and too much heat can ruin the sculpture. Overall these techniques are not used so much in a modern metal shop, so it took me a massive amount of research time, trial and error to become skilled at them .