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Elizabeth Brim’s Steel Inflation Demo




Blacksmith and Penland’s close neighbor Elizabeth Brim (a.k.a. Miss Betty) is known, among other things, for a series of steel pillows like the one shown above. The initial forming of these pieces is done by welding two sheets of steel together around the edges, getting them red hot, and then inflating the form using compressed air.



Elizabeth is frequently asked to demonstrate the technique for Penland iron classes. This summer, Dan Bailey’s class in photo and video attended one of these demos armed with still cameras, video cameras, and sound equipment and recorded the whole thing. Then Dan and his students Charlotte Humphrey and Wes Stitt lovingly crafted the footage into an intriguing five-minute video. Want to see steel blow up like a balloon? Take a look.