Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How to make a Calla Lily


Since seeing your video on forging a rose some time ago, I have enjoyed making flowers of all kinds and am continually amazed at the accuracy one can achieve with a little heat and a lot of patience.

I wanted to seek your advice on a flower I was trying to forge; it has a deceivingly simple shape so I thought I would get some help before going through all of my steel!

Because of its bell shape, I wasn't sure if I should raise it, roll it, or some other technique, also, it has that distinct "sweeping" head to it that I can't figure out how to imitate. Any guidance you might have would be very much appreciated.



Hi Anthony
Thanks for the email.
The calla lily is a distinctive flower and you have a couple of options to work with depending on the size that you wish to create.

The most common way to make these is to use a thin gage sheet such as 16 to 20 gage. Then cut out the flat pattern and do some texturing on the surface and the edges and then roll into the shape. Electric weld or forge weld onto the stem and the stamens. This technique allows you to create one of any size. Make a card board template first so you can see how it rolls and the final shape that you get. The sweeping head is simply worked hot over the horn until you get the right shape. Gentle hammer strokes.

The second way which is suitable for smaller flowers and is more work but allows for some variations, is to use 1.25 inch black pipe or 1.5 inch black pipe. This needs to be cut on a strong diagonal and then "sculpted" to the small point on tip of the flower with a grinder. Then forge the cone or funnel shape of the base which again can be electrically or forge welded to the stem and the stamens. Once the taper is forged or partly forged you may want to add the cut or split down the side to create the over lap for added realism.

I hope this helps.
Take Care

David Robertson
Artist Blacksmith
For more tips and questions answered go to the Blacksmith Forum on the main website. You can also get feedback and ideas from other members as well.