Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In Search of an EDM Cutter

 SunWest Silver Field Trip

SunWest Silver in Albuquerque was our "Field Trip" of the week.  Danny Kronberg, or "Dr. Kronberg" (as I fondly call him )led us there.  He has made charms and models for "Brother" since he moved to Albuquerque 30 years ago.  We went behind the scenes in search of an EDM cutter for my personalized items.  I have been told it's the way to go instead of stamping...and maybe at some point the tool and die masters at SunWest will make those.  I had no idea what we were about to see.  All photos were taken with my iPhone.

Bob, and I would have an adventure lead by Dr. Kronberg.  We met the owner, a warm and friendly man named "Brother."  Dr. K. has talked so much about Brother, I felt as if I already knew him.  He took us to his stash of turquoise, stones, and findings.  It was like our own personal Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show. But we never left the state. 

I've done a lot of canning in my life, and I've seen lots of screws and nails in mason jars.   Brother's root cellar of mason jars were not filled with tomatoes and jelly.  Turquoise, lapis, and other raw minerals and stones filled the jars. Thousands of them. Tens of thousands.   I saw turquoise in colors that blew my blue mind.  It would be a great assignment for a color theory class to mix what I saw on the shelves.   They would learn a lot. 

rock too big for a jar, a hand I want, and the tip of the turquoise iceberg!

After our own Gem and Mineral Show, we went to one of his machine shops.  This is where I'd find the EDM cutter I had been told about.  This shop is the machine shop Mahal! It had everything from Optical Comparator,  CNC Machines (yes, I still want one), industrial stamping machines, lathes, and jewelry making factory machines.  Bob, DK and myself were soooo excited.  We were at our kind of playground.
 the "Shop Mahal"
Below: A blue stamping press that requires two hands on the
red knobs to run...this means more fingers for the machinist!  

Shane runs this shop and he's an incredible machinist.  He and Bob went head to head about the frame that will be used to hold my pieces.  It was fun.  DK saw one of his South West style sunbursts in production.  Spools of silver bigger than a hula hoop  spin like shimmering ribbons into the multi tooled stamping press.  They are great recyclers.  Barrels next to each machine are filled with the silver scrap.  They will melt this down for the next spools of silver rolls that I saw ALL over this shop.

Below Danny holds the stamped piece, a 4 part tooled stamp die, and spools of silver.

The unsung heros were standing in front of me.  The man,  Daniel Kronberg who is one of the finest life sculptors I have ever known makes the original piece.  And Shane uses his machines to make dies and molds to turn raw metals into these beautiful pieces by the thousands.

Impressive. We left knowing how to prepare the sheets of copper and silver for my first cut.  My goal is to expand my business in this area and be able to produce more of the pieces that I personalize.   I don't want to go where Brother is.  But I want a living for me and my family.  I am grateful Brother extended his hand to help me.

Below HUGE stamping press, cuts and recycling bins, tunnel furnace that is soldiering in the graphite holders below and a precision lathe.

I am indebted to Dr. Kronberg for his help in finding me my local businesses to build my business.  His endless years of experience and Bob's have helped me go where I know I could not be without their help. As a thank you to DK, I'm going to set up his Etsy shop.  The world is waiting for his miniature sculptures, and he's going to be a huge hit on Etsy!

  You may know his "Rose Dagger" collaboration with Owen Wood on a knife.  He has just finished a shark handle collaboration for Owen. He did the lettering and engraving in Bob's thumb discs, the sterling dragon bead on Bob's lanyards, and the sterling dragon medallions on Bob's knife handles.  So Bob's collectors are going to finally meet Daniel Kronberg.

Now it's time for DK to shine, and I'm going to do my utmost to "make it so."  Below is my Raven that he gave me.  It's one of my prized possessions.  That says a lot for someone who likes "things."  We have many of his miniatures.  When the owl, wolf, horse, dolphin, shark, and eagle lovers see his work...they are going to flip for it.  Now the world through the internet can see him in his global gallery.

The Raven is 1 1/2 inches tall from the head to the bottom of the base!

So here we go! I will have my first pieces cut by an EDM (electro discharge machine).  You will see DPK Miniature Sculpture on Etsy.  All of this brought to you by the two kids who met each other at NYU's Industrial Arts Education Progam 45 years ago.

 EDM Machine

Below Danny Kronberg and Bob Terzuola
I hope you enjoyed our Field Trip...we sure did! 
Thanks for reading. I'm still amazed that you do.


Sunwest Silver

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