Stone to Bowl clay dip moulds; incl wax melt out and all-in casting

Returning to Stone to Bowl:-

stonetobowlmouldfiringOnce the wax models have been made and sprued they are then dipped in a slurry mix of clay (this time from Kingsbarns) sand (Cellardyke beach) and fibre (horse poo from near Kilrenny). There are two mixes, one is fine and the early coats are done in this and the other is coarser to build up the outer layers. Each layer has to dry before the next layer is added so it takes several days to build up the mould.

stonetobowlday5iv

When the mould is built up a clay funnel is added. The moulds are then ready for the wax to be burnt out. The first photo shows the burn out. Below are the moulds that have been burnt out.

stonetobowlburnoutmoulds

The link below is to an animated film about lost wax casting, which explains the process well.

https://hyperallergic.com/286780/an-animated-guide-to-the-bronze-age-technique-of-lost-wax-casting/

I also tried out a casting method where you burn out the wax and then put the copper alloy in one end of the mould. You then seal up the mould with a lid and clay mixture and return the mould to the furnace. stonetobowlmoulds

This photo shows the moulds and lids ready for burn out.

stonetobowlallinmoulds

This photo shows the all in one moulds ready to return to the furnace for the copper melting stage.

In theory the copper heats to melting point and you upend the mould and the copper pours into the part that you want to cast, In practice because you can’t see the metal it is difficult not to either get incomplete melting or over heating and the metal seeping out through the ceramic shell.

stone2inmouldcasting

The photo shows incomplete melting, the copper is fused (bottom right)

stone2allincast

This photo shows a mould where the metal over heated and seeped through the mould walls. There are two moulds, one complete (but rattles so I’ve not broken it) and an open one.

The moulds with incomplete melting can be ‘re-used’ as open moulds.

 

Advertisements

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.

stonetobowliii

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

stonetobowli

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

 

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:-

stonetobowlvii

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.

 

 

 

RSA Open 2017

RSA

Yes, I got selected, well “Firenze” did.

Thank-you to Jo for delivering the piece, Charles for the plinth, Axel for the photos, the Bradshaw bursary for getting me to Florence and the lovely people at Alchimia for their mentoring.

firenzexfirenzev

It’s a small sculptural piece in brass, copper and silver solder with heat oxidisation inspired by the architecture of the Oltrarno, Florence.

RSA Open 2017 – pre selection

jcowieRSA
firenze

Excited, I’ve been pre-selected for the RSA Open 2017 with this piece, Firenze, that I developed at Alchimia in Florence when on the Bradshaw travel bursary. I hope that it makes it through to final selection. I need to get on and finish it…

Alchimia Week 3

I spent week 3 taking a third off the closed form and closing it, taking a third off the remaining two thirds and closing that until I ran out of time.

day12boxxvienos

The piece became several pieces each was great to hold and could be fitted back together as a 3d puzzle.

day13boxesiienos

The surfaces took different colours, the solder flooded the joints and each piece had different small openings to look through. Like the streets there was an historic outside and a glimpse of the inside, a suggestion of many lives enclosed.

day13boxesvenos

As I made new thirds I became short of material and had to patch the brass and piece in some copper.

Doris was not able to give a final crit, but I was pleased with how my aesthetic came through strongly, how each piece is so tactile and how the object was inspired by Florence.

I discussed with Elisa and Marcia how a series of brooches might be made from the piece and also maybe replicating an inside piece in silver.

I was pleased with what I achieved and can see the approach being hugely useful in my work.