Blacksmith poppies, the full flowers

Following on from the first 2 stages of my poppy sculpture, it was time for the most difficult part, making the fully open poppy flower head.

You wouldn’t believe how many different types of poppy exist. I needed to set on a style, so I decided to go for the classic 4 petal design. I added furred edges to bring in my own design style and because I thought they needed a softer edge than the straight steel provided.

Work began with some real poppies, taking them apart, flattening out the petals and then making paper templates. I then used these to mark out the shapes of the 4 petals (which are actually different sizes) and then again my trusty new plasma cutter came into its own.

Shaping the petals into a natural look was quite difficult. Poppy petals are very thin and don’t hold their shape well, so a natural look is actually folded back and loose looking. I also hammered folds into the petals radiating outwards to give that paper look. Finally I added centres, again cut out with my plasma cutter and ridged to show the beginnings of the seed pod to come. Stems were added and the poppies finished.

For some reason I don’t seem to have taken any pictures of the process, only of the finished flower head, which is below. I made 2 to balance the sculpture.

Blacksmith poppies, the poppy flowers

Following on from stage 1 of my poppy sculpture project, the second stage of making the poppy sculpture was making the most important part, the poppy flowers.

I started by taking lots and lots of photographs through the summer months. The first thing that became very obvious was the amazing range of poppies to chose from. In the end I took a slightly artistic view of the classic 4 petal red poppy.

I then decided to show the flowers in 3 key stages, the developing bud, the fully open flower and finally the classic seed head.

Dealing with these in order, we of course start with the bud. This was made by first welding a piece of bar onto a smaller bar, the bud and the stem.





Next I forged the shape of the bud, including a fold in the side to represent the unwrapping bud.






Finally the stem was hammered and rounded to make it look less like a piece of bent rod. 3 of these were needed, at differing heights,  for the final sculpture.

That was about it, first stage of the flowers complete