Casting in Portugal


I can’t believe that I’ve been back from running the casting workshop in Portugal for over a week. This was where we did our casting (except on the evening when we had pizza). The pizza wood ash came in handy as parting powder for our sand moulds; the location was splendid and we had a great time (though I say it myself)aquaworkshop

A selection of tools on the table tennis table.


A wire bound mould ready to pour.


We used natural finds including these bits of pine cone, cast in both cuttlefish and oilsand.


and these lobster claws worked well in oilsand casting.

I hope to run this workshop again next year, so do let me know if you are interested.


Casting Workshop – Portugal


I was checking through my casting techniques today, to make sure that I pack what I need for Portugal. This is the cuttlefish casting, which I poured outside as the burning fish bone smells.


This is the casting inside the cuttlefish. The cuttlefish texture can look really good (this is not a good example though)


This is the same dog cast in oil sand, still with sprues and funnel. The oil-sand holds the detail and doesn’t flash the way the cuttlefish tends to. On the right is the wee bone original.


And these are the three dogs – cuttlefish, oil-sand and beach-sand castings.

The beach-sand has a great texture which is why I use it for my work


I had a fun morning  showing Kat and Trisha how to sand-cast. I managed not to take pictures, but they both made bowls and shell pieces.

We worked outside as it was a stunning day (still is)


Just popped out for proof!


Anyway it reminded me that I have two further workshops scheduled for this year:

8th August Plantlore and Jewellery as part of Pittenweem Arts Festivalbroochlichen

This is a brooch made at an earlier Plantlore workshopworkshop


and a week long sand casting workshop in The Algarve 13th to 20th November at Aqua Ventura.


Pewter Casting


I poured these shells and wee fish yesterday. For the sand moulds I used the Borders sand and clay mixture, I made themoulds up last week so that they were good and dry when I poured in the molten metal.


This pic shows my pewter crucible with some of the scrap cut from the castings – the runners and risers for the metal to flow in and the air to escape out. These pieces will be available at ENOS and the technique is one that I’ll be teaching in November in Portugal.

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?

Cuttle fish casting practice

As I think I’ve mentioned already, I hope to run a casting work shop at Aqua Ventura (Portugal) this November. I’m just back from brushing up my casting skills with the lovely Zoe Arnold at West Dean.

I’m planning to start with cuttlefish casting using cuttlefish that we will collect on the beach (but I’ll make sure there are some dry reserves.)


The cuttlefish set up to pour in the molten metal.


The opened mould once the metal has been poured and allowed to cool, showing the shell, the pouring button and air vents.


The other side of the shell casting showing the cuttlefish markings.

All I need to do now is cut off the surplus metal, make the cuts look like the rest and take a photo. I may shine it back to silver too.