A bit of a leap forward in time. These are the first pieces cast in copper from beeswax lost-wax models dipped in clay mix. I’ll explain the process more later.
The finger tips are a simple development of the work that I was doing in Munich and were a good test of the process, being very fine but also small. I like that they are handmade by me for my hands; and exemplify the whole process- having been made using environmentally-friendly, traditional processes.
The surface finish is pitted, but I like this and I plan to make more. It would be fun to do a community finger project.
Takako Selway and I will do some filming of the process for her film about “Hands Making”
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.
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.
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/
The copper silver alloy from the first copper smelt also made a lovely shell. The alloy is a really lovely colour.
The copper man comes a good black when heated.
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.
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.
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.
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.