The fish story continues! After getting the fish successfully welded into place on the curly strips, I used a tap & die to create a threaded hole in bottom of each strip base to accommodate the threaded rods that would be used to attach the strips to the sculpture base. I then moved on to the task of deciding how I wanted to finish the bronze elements. My inclination was to leave the fish a natural bronze and use a patina on the strips. I tested three different shades of green cold patinas that I had purchased online from Sculpt Nouveau (Tiffany, Jade, and Mint) - I decided on the Tiffany. I carefully applied 2 coats of the patina with a brush to each strip, taking special care not to get the patina on the fish in the areas near the welds. I then sealed the fish and strips with satin spray lacquer.
The final step was to make the base for the sculpture. I found a nice piece of leopardwood at the Rockler Woodworking store in Portland. It had a great grain pattern that looked like pebbly sand. I also got a piece of Brazilian cherry that I thought would go well with the leopardwood as the bottom level of the base. I rounded the corners of the leopardwood, left the cherry square, and then sanded both pieces of wood. After drilling the holes need to insert the bronzes into the leopardwood, I applied 3 coats of satin polyurethane to both boards. The assembly of the base involved gluing the two pieces of wood together with a 1/4" ash board sandwiched in-between them to give the base a bit of height and separation. The ash board was smaller than the leopardwood board, and its edges had been darkened with a walnut stain so it wouldn't show. I also used wood screws to hold the boards together, covering the screw heads with wooden plugs. Holes were then drilled through the ash and cherry layers of the base for the threaded rods, with larger holes on the bottom to allow the nuts and washers to be recessed. I also added small wooden "legs" on the underside corners to elevate the base. All that was left was to attach the bronze elements to the base - and, presto! ...the fish are up and swimming!
A reception will be held on Thursday, September 1st from 5-7 PM.