Textbook Makers: A History of American Studio Craft by Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf
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Glossary of Metal Terms

For the purpose of general reference, the scope of these glossaries extends beyond terms used in the textbook. Other Glossaries: Ceramic Fiber Glass Metal Wood

Scroll down or select a first letter range: <a-f> <g-m> <n-s> <t-z>

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a combination of two metals in a specific ratio, which forms a new metal Return to Top
the process of heating metal to make it easier to work with; a process that occurs throughout the metalworking to keep the metal from breaking or cracking from being overworked Return to Top
Anodized aluminum
aluminum which has been coated to strengthen and protect it from corrosion, and often coloring the surface with a bright color Return to Top
the block on which metal is hammered or forged Return to Top
a form of plastic developed for use in household products and costume jewelry Return to Top
Base circle
the circle drawn onto the center of a sheet of metal, which will become the vessel’s base as it is raised into a vessel Return to Top
Base metal
any metal other than a precious metal, such as copper or zinc Return to Top
An enameling process similar to cloisonne, in which colors are applied side by side without being separated by metal lines Return to Top
Beating down
the process of methodically hammering a piece of sheet metal into a mold to create a specific form; beating down sheet metal produces vessels with straight sides Return to Top
A hard, brittle metal with the chemical name beryllium aluminum silicate Return to Top
From the French, biseau, meaning slanted edge, bezels are settings for stones with a slanted edge. Return to Top
stones with a slant-cut edge Return to Top
Another development was the use of stiff cames of grooved copper or zinc replacing soft lead cames to hold together the glass segments Return to Top
the process of pouring molten metal into a mold to create an object Return to Top
enamel work in which transparent or opaque enamel is fired into etched or carved areas leaving the metal partly exposed Return to Top
a process of applying decorative elements to metal objects using specific tools Return to Top
enameling in which the colors are separated by thin metal ribbons or wires to maintain the pattern and keep the melting colors from running together Return to Top
Cold rolled annealed
a process of making sheets of copper by rolling cold copper into sheets, and then annealing it to make it easier to work with Return to Top
hand made in parts and assembled to form a whole Return to Top
a faster method of raising a piece of metal into a vessel form, by dividing the vessel into 12 parts, and raising each section, at the end of the crimping process the sections are hammered into smooth sides Return to Top
Cut soldering
soldering using small cut pieces of metal to join two pieces of metal together Return to Top
creation of a metal object by electrically depositing metal on a master form of wax; after the wax is removed, a metal shell remains Return to Top
coated with a thin layer of metal (usually precious) by passing an electric current through a chemical solution containing a source of the metal Return to Top
a tool used to raise a design from the inside of the metal vessel Return to Top
a usually opaque vitreous composition applied by fusion to the surface of metal, glass, or pottery Return to Top
using a tool to cut designs into metal; often done by etching machines using templates Return to Top
a plastic coating applied to the surface of metal which may look like enameling Etching (the process of using acid to cut designs into the metal) Return to Top
making an object in parts and then assembling it to form a whole Return to Top
a rib-shaped piece of metal, often used in jewelry making for pins or brooches Return to Top
Fire scale
the black residue left on a copper alloy after it oxidizes Return to Top
the common name used for table utensils made of silver Return to Top
a cleaning solution painted onto metal to ensure the most ideal soldering conditions Return to Top
the process of hammering metal on a block to shape and stretch the metal into the desire shape Return to Top
the process of hammering sheet metal over a mold or raising it into a form Return to Top
tiny balls of metal heat-fused to a metal surface without the use of solder Return to Top
enameling made by firing carious layers of fine, whit, opaque enamel on an opaque black background Return to Top
a form of metalsmithing, in which the completed object is made of hollow metal Return to Top
Hot rolled
a process of making sheets of capper by heating it and rolling it into sheets, resulting in a weaker form of copper Return to Top
the art of cutting, polishing, and engraving precious stones Return to Top
Lost wax casting
a one-time reproduction process in which an object is impressed into sand or surrounded with a special plaster to make a mold; the wax is burned out, and molten metal takes the form of the “lost” wax Return to Top
Married metal
patterns or imagery developed by joining various colored alloys, such as bronze, copper, and silver adjacent to one another Return to Top
Melting point
the specific temperature at which each metal becomes molten Return to Top
Metal plating
the process of coating one type of metal with another using a thermo-chemical bonding agent Return to Top
a process originating in 17th century Japan for decorative sword handles, which involves fusing sheets of metal together, cutting them into billets and re-fusing them until the metals are mixed and able to be carved, forged or hammered into sheets and raised. Return to Top
A black metal alloy made of two parts silver, one-third copper and one-sixth lead, used to create delicate enamel designs. Return to Top
a chemical reaction which causes alloys containing copper to turn black upon exposure to heat Return to Top
1) a surface coloring, usually brown or green, produced by oxidation of bronze or another metal, occurring naturally or produced artificially; 2) the substance used to create the effect; 3) a surface luster occurring from age or use Return to Top
a cleaning process in which oxidation residue is removed from copper alloys by dipping them into a heated solution of water and sulfuric acid Return to Top
a suspension material used to keep a metal object stationary as a metalsmith decorates its surface Return to Top
hammering a metal to finalize the object’s shape Return to Top
the process of coating one metal with another by electronically bonding metallic ions to a base metal Return to Top
enameling in which transparent enamels fill small openings in metal, suggesting stained glass windows Return to Top
Poker soldering
soldering in which the soldering material is put into place using a poker Return to Top
Pot metal
a slang term for cheap metal alloys used for casting, especially for experimentation before using more expensive metals for a final product Return to Top
a tool used fro making indentations or holes in the metal surface Return to Top
the process of hammering a sheet of metal over a stake into a specific form; raising metal can produce vessels with curved sides Return to Top
a process of creating patterns on metal using steel tools Return to Top
a plastic which may be bonded to metal or cast in molds Return to Top
the coating painted onto the metal surface which protects the areas which are not to be etched by acid Return to Top
a metal surface delicately wrinkled by a special heating process Return to Top
a two-piece permanent cylindrical fastener, hammered together to connect two sheets of metal together from opposite sides Return to Top
to produce a casting by pouring molten metal into sand molds Return to Top
whalebone or similar material having intricate scenes or designs engraved on its surface; ink is then rubbed into the engraved lines for contrast and definition Return to Top
the process of joining pieces of the same metal by heating a different metal to bond the pieces together Return to Top
Strip soldering
using strips of soldering material to join two pieces of metal together Return to Top
Sweat soldering
soldering flat pieces of metal together by allowing pieces of soldering metal to melt as a bonding medium between the flat pieces Return to Top
a tool used for making straight and curved lines on the metal surface Return to Top
Wire soldering
soldering metal together by heating the end of a wire to achieve just the right amount of solder necessary to bond metals together Return to Top
shaped by beating or hammering, often elaborately, for decorative effect; wrought iron is also a low-carbon metal which can be elongated without breakage and is resistant to corrosion Return to Top