Commissioned by the LDS Church and installed in an exhibit at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ancient metalsmiths would have used a hammer to pound out metal plate from a cast metal ingot. This “planishing” leaves distinctive marks. I, thankfully, was able to start with mill rolled plate. Even at that the planishing required hundreds of hours of mesmerizing hammering, pounding and tap taping.
ANNEALING to soften the metal
As non-iron metal is worked it becomes harder. It must be heated and then quenched in the process known as annealing to regain its malleable properties. To transform an ingot into a plate requires seemingly endless cycles of hammering and annealing.
Cleaning after the ANNEALING
After the final annealing, the plates were made as flat as possible. Then each was cleaned of the discoloration caused by the heat. This is only accomplished with a fine abrasive.
Engraving the Characters
Once the plates are prepared through these previous steps they are ready to be engraved. I used a bright flat graver. This allowed the lines to vary in width, giving the characters more life.