so you want to know what scales are normally made of and what they can be made of?
so first the short answer in the form of a list of metals commonly used to make commercially available scales:
copper <-- good for aged pieces and/or fun with chemicals very unique apearance
gold <-- pretty… and expensive…
silver <-- extra super shiny but also expensive
aluminium <-- most common, lots of colors, very light and strong and cheap
titanium <-- expensive but VERY strong and has many interesting and exotic colors
steel <-- closest to authentic material corrodes quickly but cheapish
stainless steel <-- corrosion resistant strong and can be very shiny
galvanized steel <-- moderately corrosion resistant, very strong, pretty heavy, reasonably cheap
niobium <-- expensive as sin strong as hell pretty colors with a quality usually better than titanium
now the long answer with all the extra info that i can think of that might be even remotely helpful.
the scales i most commonly use are made of aluminium, however, the material used should be chosen based on your application. as an example if i wanted to make something like a weight vest i might use steel scales instead of aluminium for added weight or if i was making a costume piece i might use aluminium instead of gold or silver for cost or relative strength. any material that will hold up to the stress you designed your piece to withstand is suitable so i could just as easily ask the fired arts bunch to make them out of clay for these flowers but using paper or playdough would probably be a bad idea.
the method i have seen used most frequently is to start with a large flat sheet of metal and feed it into a press that will cut and shape your scales in one easy move the extra material is then recycled much in the same way extra cookie dough could be used to make more cookies…
ok here is the crazy part: shape doesnt matter a whole bunch… thats right i said it… the only type i have used are the type pictured above for the flowers they have a kind of leaf shape with a single large hole at one end and a concave and convex side. that is NOT the only option!!! some examples are TRL’s shield type scales which are flat scales with a square top (usually hidden by the rest of the weave) with two holes one in each corner and it comes to a gradual point and looks a bit like a shield or there are rond or fully square scales with four holes either at the corners or 90 degrees apart. its seriously only limited by your imagination and what you think you can do with it id put up some pictures but i dont want to fill this up with pics
finally the burning question: CAN WE MAKE THEM AT DMS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
yes absolutely there are a great many designs and materials and methods to choose from and if anyone would like help accomplishing this im totally down
would i use them for my proposed class on making scale flowers?
probably not the design ill be teaching is somewhat specific.
can you use then for my proposed class on making scale flowers?
absolutely i have no problems helping you work with any materials you want to bring… however comma… while i ABSOLUTELY encourage experimentation and elaboration in this instance a differently shaped or sized scale could change the flowers in ways that would be difficult to predict, plan for, or even use at all. so i would recommend learning with these scales and then modifying/experimenting/elaborating on the design after
do i want to see what folk can come up with to make and use at the maker space?
HECK YEA!!!1111!!!exclamationpointone!!! my intermediate/advanced class is all about making the projects you want to see happen!!! the priority of every single one of those classes is any project the attendees want to work on and might want help or advice on the only reason i have things like the pendant from the last class or the flowers in the next one is in case no one needs help or has a project of their own its just a big’ol plan B if you want to try and use cookie cutters and poptarts or a chainsaw and silly string i will happily offer advice and watch you make a mess heck if it looks fun i might even join you
wow looking at it now after re-reading it a time or two this is really long… i feel like such a nerd… ITS GREAT!!! anyway i hope this answered your question if it did not then please let me know XD