Borders sand casting, the story continues

This is my first ‘Borders Bowl’ for exhibition at Hirsel Estate, Coldstream in July. It is a work in progress:-bordersbziv


I made it using bronze cast in the clay/sand mixture from Hume Castle and the beach at Whitesands.

The clay is dried, then slaked:-

2clayslakeienos sieved:- 3crailclay3

then dried again, then ground, before being sieved when dry and mixed with the sieved sand.

As you can imagine this takes some while.

I made up the mould in a two part sand box. The mixture of sand and clay has to be correct so that it holds the shape; and it has to be the right degree of moist. The former is removed and the sand box closed; and the mould is then dried ready to pour molten bronze. This we did on Friday at the Scottish Sculpture workshop. Thank-you Eden and Uist.sswbronzegd

This is the bowl as it came from the sand:- bordersbz

Come and see the finished piece at the White Fox gallery, from 24th July 2016.

I will be at the opening on the 24th and will explain the process if you remain confused.

Casting Workshops

I ran a casting workshop on Sunday. In the morning we used cuttlefish and in the afternoon we did oil sand casting. We achieved some good outcomes as well as learning from our mistakes. Rachel is going to send me some pictures, meantime here’s one I did earlier.


It whet my appetite for the week long workshop at Aqua Ventura in November (13th-19th) where we’ll combine these techniques with local forays to find materials and inspiration. There should be sun, Violetta’s great cooking, walking, countryside and seaside, the quinta, new people and enough time to make at least one piece of silver jewellery. Why not check your diaries and see if you can join us?

White Fox – Borders landscapes


This is the tree by Hume Castle where I gathered the first clay for my work in the Borders. I couldn’t find a geology map, but I remembered that the brickworks of Scotland were located where they could get raw materials and Hume not only has a proper Borders castle but also clay deposits.

Try this for all you want to know about bricks in Scotland – .


yes and there were sleet showers looking south down the roman road. Hume was one of the warning beacon sites during the Napoleonic wars.


The White Fox gallery is just outside Coldstream, so on a clear day I might have seen it from the castle.


This is the first stage of preparing the sand/clay mix for the moulds – it has to be dried so that I can slake it and sieve it to remove impurities. A good excuse to use the underfloor heating.


I came home via White Sands and collected some sand for the mix. I wonder if it is very different from my ‘home’ sand just across the Firth. And yes, it was still a gray day.