100 days and Stone to Bowl


This photo shows the difference between a two-part sand mould and an open pour. The level of detail on the two part mould is far greater than on the open pour.

I had read that this was the case, but I’d not experimented myself previously.

Both pieces are ‘my-smelt’ copper with silver alloy, cast in oil sand. The piece on the right is made in a two-part mould. The piece on the left I heat-patinated after I’d cleaned it up. Both are from the same former, which is an Edwardian mourning brooch. I will make the more detailed piece into a necklace; the open pour piece is too heavy to wear, but is very tactile.


Stone to Bowl


The second casting that I did with my first-smelt copper produced the ‘Manx cat’, a mouse, a pudding charm of the Christ child and two partial shells.

The mouse and the pudding charm were the more successful pieces. I have ordered a different kind of casting ring for the shells, to see if that is more successful. The shells are too fine for a conductive metal like copper, which tends to cool before completing the mould.

It is exciting using metal that you have ‘made’ yourself.


Stone to Bowl

Some of the copper that I smelted at the Sculpture workshop was not very pure. By hammering it I was able to get rid of much of the impurities ready to alloy with silver and melt for casting. I think that this was the first time that I used this blacksmiths hammer and my rather rusty anvil/

Cambo House winter exhibition


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.


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


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.


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


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.