Welcome to a whole month of Metal meets textile, from A to Z. I’ve always been attracted to the idea of mixing hard metals and soft techniques.
But where do I even start? First things first: I could not do any of this metal work without annealing.
What is annealing, and why is it necessary?
When you hit, bend, pull or roll metal, it loses its flexibility and becomes hard. You may have experienced this with a copper wire, which in its natural state is soft and bendable, but when you bend it back and forth at the same spot, it becomes brittle and will eventually break.
Whereas you want the final piece to be hardened, you need to make sure that you can shape the metal without breaking it throughout the process. You do this by annealing, which means that you heat up the metal to loosen up the molecule structure, making it return to its original state.
The scientific lingo around this process is also a very human one: Metal gets work hardened and annealing brings metal back to its stress-free or equilibrium state. Isn’t that like when our bodies get stiff by working too long in the same position and feel smooth again after a hot bath?
Lesson learned for us humans: It takes more than an apple a day to stay well and get the most out of ourselves. We also need to anneal our minds and bodies every now and then.
I hope this finds you in a stress-free state, as far as the circumstances allow.