Braking the Box:
How to use the Di-Acro 12 Finger Brake
with Alan Bremer
MAGG has a Di-Acro 12” Finger Brake in its studio, for use by all classes, workshops, and open studios. Like all dedicated metal working equipment, it does one thing very well. The finger brake can bend metal in a very straight line to almost any angle.
This workshop will cover the equipment’s advantages, limitations, and techniques for design and most efficient use. We will also learn how to adjust for the different thicknesses of metal that create different radii in bends.
We will have an opportunity to make a small box with a lid and legs of your own design or use a supplied pattern that will hold two decks of playing cards for canasta or bridge. We will discuss decorative options and possibly have time for simple decoration before we “brake” the box. Decorating is usually done before the metal is bent into the box form for ease of manipulation and to avoid distorting the shape caused by stretching the metal with hammering after cutting the pattern.
We will cold connect legs to our box with copper rivets to conceal the corners and consider more decorative options.
PREREQUISITE: None. Beginners welcome!
All recipients will receive a preliminary pattern for the demonstration box in case you would like to decorate the metal by hammering, stamping, etching or some such before the workshop.
12" X 12" sheet of silver, copper, brass, pewter, steel, aluminum, tin, etc. Steel or tin can be thinner, silver & copper should be 22–24 ga. It depends on the strength of metal you select.
Demo will be using 22–24 ga copper.
All tools and (copper) rivets will be provided by MAGG.
Alan Bremer became attracted to the craft of jewelry in his early twenties. Through his father’s medical appliance business, he was familiar with machinery, hand tools and metal. With an early interest in the arts, he worked in a metal jewelry crafts store before moving to New York to study at The International Center of Photography with Cornell Capa as a photographer and later as a videographer.
Over the next two decades in New York, Alan built a career in photography and video, got married and started a family. During all of that time, he kept a small trunk of jewelry equipment and tools--thinking someday he would make jewelry again. The opportunity came in 1993 when Alan’s family relocated to Atlanta and he became an at-home Dad. Alan reconnected with his jewelry tools and took comprehensive formal training through many classes and workshops.
Alan began teaching at Chastain Arts Center in 2000. He has put his full energy and heart into exploring the potential of the metal worker’s art. He creates and exhibits his own jewelry and serves on the board of the Metal Arts Guild of Georgia.
Alan’s teaching style is aimed at those just beginning to explore metalworking to very advanced artists. He creates demos appropriate to students’ skill levels and emphasizes hands-on work as well as a collegial, non-competitive, fun-loving class environment. Students become enthralled with the art of metalworking and spark one another’s creativity and sense of humor. Alan’s goal is to enhance opportunities for people to grow in their skills, engagement and excitement with hand-crafted art.
I love the sculptural quality and scale of jewelry. Jewelry is body ornament and talisman, personal but public. It is a work of art that is chosen to be displayed in public on the body. It is in motion--not static in a case or on a wall. As simple as a bobble or as complex and meaningful as any art, jewelry is personal and public for the creator as well as the wearer.