Casting on the beach

beachpour Roddy brought his mobile foundry to the beach at Cellardyke on Friday and we had a great day pouring different metals into beach-sand moulds. We ran two small furnaces so that we could do mixed metal pours. This is me pouring silver, this cast is sterling, the other one in the picture is fine silver. mixpour This is a brass and bronze mixed metal pour. One of the furnaces was bellows operated, so we also had Gordon Lochead from the Silver Studio helping out; and Mary took the photos. mixedmetal You can see both furnaces and just see the bellows on the right in this pic.

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Can mixed metal casting work?

All through this year I have been playing with mixing metal to get colour. I started with mokume and the pattern welded steel, but I wanted to try mixed metal casting. The textbooks largely say it can’t be done as the surface of one oxidises before the next metal is added, or the metals mix to form alloys.

I found both these things happened, but I like the results.

mixedmetal1enosiThe first piece is silver and copper and has an attractive alloy between the two. It was a simultaneous pour that Nuno helped with

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This is it heated to deplete the copper from the silver, It shows the boundary between the materials.

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This is the electric furnace used to heat the copper.

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This is the beach-sand mould after the copper has been poured.

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This piece I poured pewter first and then poured bronze down in the foundry. It has an incomplete join and some ‘burnt’ spots.. It was a sequential pour and the pewter was cold. It is in a beach-sand mould from a £D printed form.

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This piece is copper and pewter, patinated with Cupra, another sequential pour with Nuno’s assistance. Again in beach-sand from a 3D form.

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This piece is also pewter and copper, sequentially poured. In beach-sand with a wooden lathed form. Sequential pouring necessitates accurate estimates of the metal required for the cast.

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Group pics!

 

Experiments with casting pewter

 

At the start of the year I posted pics of some small wooden bowls that I intended to cast. smallbowls

I have just cast them in pewter, some using delft clay and some my beach-sand and clay mix.

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I have applied Cupra as a patina. I like the one with 2 legs as it seems to be walking.

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The one with 3 is more static like a cauldron.

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This is a copper and pewter mixed metal casting. It stands in a pool of copper.

 

Why bronze is used to make bells and pewter isn’t

Close followers will recall the 6 part silicon mould. This was used to pour low-melting-temperature, white metal (pewter), otherwise the mould would have melted.

The sea-washed brick piece is like a sea-shell, because you hear the sea when you hold it to your ear. brickbronzepewteri_enospewter piece (right) bronze piece (left)

Sadly pewter does not resonate like bronze (hence no pewter bells) and the piece did not work. So I used it to make a sand mould for another bronze pour.bricksandbox

sand box being readied for casting

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The secret of the sound revealed.

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brick, bronze and wax

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This bronze piece does hold the sound of the sea. It just needs the closing to be finished. You may come and listen to it at my degree show May 22nd in Dundee.