Hanging Metal Feathers

Tamera Mulanix from Pittsboro, N.C., shows how to make a metal wall hanging by cutting, hammering, welding and painting steel. The piece consists of two metal feathers hanging together with leather and glass beads.

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Materials and Tools:

feather pattern
sheet metal (can be obtained at a steel mill)
metal chalk (available at welding supply stores)
plasma cutter
vise
hammer
mig welder
steel washer (available at most hardware stores)
pliers
metal cleaner, primer, metal paint, patina
small paintbrush
leather strapping
glass beads

Steps:


  1. Place feather pattern of on sheet metal.

  2. Use metal chalk to draw two patterns of the feathers onto the sheet metal.

  3. Cut out feathers with a plasma cutter.

  4. Take flat pieces to a slightly open vise (about one or two inches) and pound the center of the flat pieces so that they curve.

  5. Close the vise a bit and curl the tips of the feathers.

  6. Place the feathers together into a V on the welding table and mig-weld them together while holding them in place.

  7. Take your steel washer and place with pliers onto the back of the welded feathers and spot-weld it to the piece. You can also weld your initials if you want to at this point.

  8. Once the feathers cool, use the metal cleaner to clean the oils off the metal.

  9. Apply the primer immediately to the clean metal.

  10. After the primer dries, you are ready to paint with metal paint. Tamera likes the copper paint, but there are many other color choices.

  11. Once that dries, apply the patina with a small brush. This will give a different look every time, depending on which patina you use and how you apply it. Tamera likes the Acid Green and Blue patinas and usually drips the patina onto the feathers.

  12. Let the hanging dry completely. Overnight is best.

  13. Cut some leather straping off the spool and then wrap and tie it around the tips of the feather.

  14. Add glass beads to the ends of the leather, then tie the ends in a knot so that they stay.

Web site: www.gypsysky.com

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