The steel is hot-forged by manipulating the industrial pipe and structural tubing at a temperature of approximately 2,300 degrees. At that temperature steel becomes extremely plastic and can be manipulated by mechanical means as well as by hand-held hammer. As important as the hammer is the process of selectively cooling the hot steel in cold water. This enables manipulation of some areas of the steel left hot without any movement in the water-cooled steel. Much of the control is achieved by the pattern created by the differential between the hot and the chilled steel. Even though the cooled steel is still extremely hot, steel will move most at its hottest point.
Patinas are created by applying different salts and acids directly on the hot steel. Patinas are applied at a temperature of between 200 and 220 degrees. Those chemicals react with the iron and carbon to create the colors. While patinas on bronze has existed for centuries, patinas on steel are extremely difficult because of the oxidation of the steel, in other words, rust. The patina must be applied and sealed in such a way as to avoid oxygen from reaching the bare steel. An elaborate dance is achieved by the process of application of the individual colors and the heating of the steel with a torch to keep the piece at a steady temperature.
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