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.
I like the way the clay balls look a bit like poppy seed heads.
I’ll let them dry out a bit before I try and get them to smelting temperature in a charcoal furnace.
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:-
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.
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.
The iron pour at the Sculpture Workshop went well. (Steve and I ran the furnace under the eagle eye of George Beasley and Eden Jolly) This is the iron piece that I showed the sand mould for in my last post. The found metal, probably copper, from the beach is now included in the iron.
This cup has a flat piece of beach copper in it:-
And this has some copper nails that featured in a post in January:-
The heat of the iron has melted the copper through to the outside of the cup.
This is a teaser photo of preparations for the iron pour that Steve and I ran at the weekend. It is the inside of a sand mould for an iron beaker vessel. I have put a piece of copper alloy from my beach combing into the mould to see what happens.
I now know what happened, but you will have to wait….
The pour was a great success thanks to George Beasley, Steve, Eden and the rest of the team at SSW. Thanks also to Charles Clark for the mould boxes.
Some lovely pieces were made by the people at my workshop yesterday, a super eye for design.
I’ve since made a couple more pairs like these earrings as I think the colour and design is good (shame about the photo)
Some of the participants busy making.
Pittenweem Arts Festival continues until Sunday, pop by and see me at Venue 53 if you are in the area.