Today is mostly using the punches to sculpt and texture.
In the above three images you can see some of the sculpting in progress. The image on the left has had the head part (cephalon) sculpted and textured, and you can see the two punches I’ve be used – the large one on the left is for general texturing (made from hardened 1/8 inch diameter piano wire) and the one on the right is for shaping via forging (it’s made from an old rotary bur and is flat on the end with just a bit of rounded edges). In the center image you can see a carved but unsculpted part of the trilobite’s central lobe (blue arrow), and in the right image is the same lobe after sculpting (green arrow).
And here all the central and lateral lobes have been sculpted. The punch easily shapes most metals, including steel but especially something as soft as silver, and really starts making this thing come to life.
And here is the completed trilobite, with a bit of patina thrown on. There is an option here to leave the copper eyes as they are, or to use a tiny carbide bur and place lots of tiny dimples on them, like the eyes in the image below, courtesy of Bladegallery.com. I’ll ask the client and see what they want to do. Next I’ll fabricate a beefy silver jump ring and mess with the patina a bit more, followed by boiling in distilled water to make sure all the nasty chemicals are gone. Then I’ll do a serious quality control inspection, correcting any faux pas, and then she’ll be ready to go!
I guess this finally solves the mystery associated with the most successful and long-lasting group of organisms the world has ever known. What happened to them? Why did they suddenly disappear from the oceans?
They simply ran down, of course. But, in science solving one mystery usually just exposes more things to seek answers to, and brings to mind a completely new mystery of the trilobites – who wound them up in the first place?
Thanks for looking!