Thursday, June 14, 2007

Paul Revere Was Right

Most people remember Paul Revere as the guy who went riding hollering "The red coats are coming!" Metalsmiths remember him as the guy who had a rolling mill for metal in the colonies. The only rolling mill. Which meant he could melt down metals, make ingots, and hammer it out into rod, then roll it through the rolling mill to make wire in specific sizes. Instead of having to send the metal back to England to have it done there at great cost, as England wanted. In fact he was legally supposed to.
A rolling mill looks sort of like a gizmo to roll out pasta.
But thats not what I came here to talk about. I came here to talk about drawing rod through a metal plate, a 'draw plate', which makes it a tiny bit smaller. One keeps annealing the wire and drawing it through smaller size holes in the plate until one gets the size one wants. And I have wanted the size silver to make a specific size of knitting needles. Size #1. Its a specialty size. And I finally have got it all set up right to draw my own wire. And am feeling, like Paul Revere, that I am empowered in the smithy.
Enough about that, you say? OK. The dark brown sheep, Petunia, has decided that the fragrant purple petunias I planted in pots on the front porch are for her. So far I have kept her at bay using netting and sharp glances her way.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Celtic Knots by Maria

Here are some first knots made by Maria using the instructions in my book, Design Your Own Celtic Knots. They are terrific! Thanks for sending these, Maria.

Celtic Knots in Seattle

Here I am teaching my original Celtic knot design method at the Seattle Folklife Festival.

I got to teach hundreds of people of all ages, kids to seniors!
Below is a first knot someone made.

And to the right below is a child with her first knot.

It was great fun, and I sold my how-to books, plus the books on CD and I have it on an on line download. So wherever you are you can learn it too.
Getting back to smithing has been difficult after all the energy of the Folklife Festival, but I will be able to ship a few sets of knitting needles out tomorrow.