Anita Edwards
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From Sheet Metal to Schnauzer: How It's Made

The process begins with an idea. I get my ideas from observing live animals – sometimes my own or other people's pets, or at the zoo. Then I start sketching. It can often take 15 or 20 iterations before I come up with just the right mix of personality, movement and metal. Once I'm satisfied with the drawing, I scan the image into my computer and create a pattern.

I use the pattern as a guide to hand-saw each separate layer. Very fine-toothed blades are used in my jewelers' saw to enable me to make the fine twists and turns necessary.

Hand sawing

Smooth and round the edges:
Once the layers are sawed out, I use small files and abrasive to smooth and round off edges. I then create a brushed matte final finish by using 0000 steel wool. Each layer is then sprayed with a protective lacquer to inhibit tarnishing.

Grinding the edges

Drill tiny bolt holes:
Many of my pieces use tiny bolts that serve double-duty – they appear as eyes on the front side while holding the finding (pin back or bale) on the back side.

Drilling tiny holes for bolts

Solder if needed:
Others require soldering. This is a heat process in which melted silver solder bonds a finding to the metal.

Soldering pieces together

Assemble the piece:
The last step is putting all the pieces together. As mentioned before, I use tiny bolts and screws, fastened by nuts, to attach layers and create movement. This type of joining of the metals is called cold connecting. A small drop of super glue is then placed at the base of each nut to permanently secure the bolt.

Assembling the finished piece

Legs sway, ears flag, heads move, tails wag...