I created my own headbadges overlaying a combination of copper, brass and silver. Having never done this before, I spent the day with Caren Hartley, fine metalworker extraordinaire who is also moving her talents across into framebuilding.
This was a great opportunity to meet up and share some knowledge. The Made by Ore workshops are based in Walthamstow E17 and well equipped with an amazing selection of specialist hammers and tools - so let's get started....
You'll see below the cut section of silver going through what is essentially a metal mangle. To create the bracken effect, I've used torn up paper and bits of decoration that someone may use to make a greetings card. Once out the other side, our pattern is imprinted - wow. Now sitting at the 'peg' I cut out the road part of the badge. With silver being expensive, I quickly thought that to make 2 badges would use up all my materials - win win.
The brass back plate above is simply hammered about - what was I thinking? Forests - I was trying to get the effect of a load of conifers then down in the bottom right corner are my customer's initials stamped in with a set of dies.
Bringing it all together at the brazing stage requires making tiny little silver solder 'palliers' or little pedestals that when heated, flash outwards to fuse the materials. Torch in left hand and tweezers in right. Into the warm 'pickle' to dissolve any impurities and then a quick file before shaping.
The anvil comes out and the badge is hammered to fit a head tube. Now comes the magic. The whole badge is dropped into an oxidation mixture for literally 10 seconds and comes out black...OMG! "Don't worry" said Caren, "wash it off and rub it down with some emery". Suddenly the badge emerged like a Phoenix and I couldn't believe my eyes.