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.
Sadly this simple cowrie shell necklace went missing in the post. The moral being to use padded envelopes so that it is less obvious that there might be jewellery boxes in the envelope/parcel. I hope it has a happy home somewhere.
This is one of my favourite 100 days pieces so far. It’s a neckpiece using a piece of brass from the beach, drilled and threaded on a glass and silver bead necklace. The glass beads are from Togo and were waist beads that my daughter brought back. The colours are just right for the patina on the beach find.
Alongside the Stone to Bowl project I’m doing a 100 days project where I try and do something that is new/not work-driven each day. This silver bowl I started at college, but I now have new skills to finish it properly, so I did.
It is made from rings of silver soldered together and to a textured base and then slightly melted to give the organic finish.
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 first trial casting of the copper I smelted last year at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop was a success. I added a high percentage of silver (15%) and used the top temperature setting on my electric furnace and the copper alloy poured well. The first mould was a small toy person.
The Stone to Bowl project will use lost-beeswax, ceramic dip moulds and sling-casting, but I’m trialing different parts of the process using other technologies.