About julia cowie

jeweller and metal worker

Stone to Bowl

stonetobowlvi

Following further research I have made up some clay balls with a mixture of malachite and charcoal inside to smelt. Copper results from removing oxygen from the copper ore, so the sealed clay balls should be more successful that the pit smelt that I did at the Sculpture Workshop.

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I like the way the clay balls look a bit like poppy seed heads.

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I’ll let them dry out a bit before I try and get them to smelting temperature in a charcoal furnace.

VACMA support acknowledgement-text + logost

 

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Stone to Bowl

VACMA support acknowledgement-text + logost

I have been awarded funding for my Stone to Bowl project. It will pay for several weeks at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in 2018 to complete the project which will take copper ore through to cast pieces, using traditional and fully sustainable methods.

I’ve been doing some preparatory work:-

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I experimented with melting the copper that I pit-smelted this year at the Sculpture Workshop, adding in some silver to lower the melting temperature. I melted 115gm and got 74gm of copper and some residual oxides which didn’t melt. The left hand metal is copper, the right is the original smelt material which is less pure. Next trial will be to sand cast with the copper/silver alloy.

 

 

 

Cambo House winter exhibition

http://www.camboestate.com/event-list/christmas-food-craft-fair

The new Cambo Heritage Trust is hosting a group exhibition from this weekend 19th November until Christmas, some of my work will be there. The Cambo Christmas  Food and Craft Fair is on this weekend too. juliacambotopi

This bowl set in Damascus steel and argentium with bronze spoon will be on display.

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and this seashore selection in bronze with seaweed patina.

 

Linda Jackson, Susie McIvor, Judith Heald and Keny Drew will also have work on display in the newly refurbished stables as well.

Workshop in Munich

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I did a wonderful workshop at Peter Bauhuis’s workshop. A different casting technique (lost wax), an opportunity to work with different alloys and forms and a generous and expert teacher. This finger ring is in 800 silver and emerges from casting with this great surface patina and texture.

mixeedbowls copy

These little bowls are shibuishi, copper and argentium; in a style influenced by Peter’s work. This is the first time that I have cast argentium. I also now know the secret of successful copper casting.

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This photo is of Peter sprueing up some wax pieces, below is his bench peg.

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This copper ring, made from a twist of wax wire dipped, came out of the casting process with this lovely patina and texture. It already has a new owner.

 

 

Iron Casting photos from Studio RoRo

I have some great photos of the Iron Pour that Steve and I supervised at SSW, thanks to Ross Fraser Maclean of Studio RoRo

ironpourixA view into the inferno

ironfurnaceiThis is George Beasley lighting the furnace for his demonstration run.

ironpoureThis is the team discussing roles, the furnace is running on blown air to maintain and build up heat having been lit with the gas torch.

ironpourivAdding coke to the furnace onto a charge of scrap iron. The iron scrap melts and drops down to the bottom of the furnace. It is then tapped from the bottom into a crucible for pouring.

ironpourviiHeating the crucible ready for it to receive molten iron for pouring into moulds.

ironpourviiiYvonne taking notes for the log so we know how the furnace is running.

ironpourxiMolten iron tapped from the furnace flowing into the crucible for pouring

ironpourg copyAndrew and Uist pouring iron

ironpourfMy sand moulds with clay along the joins to minimize the amount of burning to the boxes.

ironpourcEden and I checking how the beach-sand moulds held up

ironpourdDropping the bottom when the last tap has been used. This coke can be cleaned and reused.

Iron cups

beachironii

The iron pour at the Sculpture Workshop went well. (Steve and I ran the furnace under the eagle eye of George Beasley and Eden Jolly) This is the iron piece that I showed the sand mould for in my last post. The found metal, probably copper, from the beach is now included in the iron.

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This cup has a flat piece of beach copper in it:-

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And this has some copper nails that featured in a post in January:-

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The heat of the iron has melted the copper through to the outside of the cup.

 

Iron Pour prep

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This is a teaser photo of preparations for the iron pour that Steve and I ran at the weekend. It is the inside of a sand mould for an iron beaker vessel. I have put a piece of copper alloy from my beach combing into the mould to see what happens.

sandmould17a

I now know what happened, but you will have to wait….

The pour was a great success thanks to George Beasley, Steve, Eden and the rest of the team at SSW. Thanks also to Charles Clark for the mould boxes.