Stone to Bowl

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.


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.

Iron cups


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.


Iron Pour prep


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.

Copper smelt 3


The second ‘hole in the ground’ smelt produced copper in pellets, it was probably just a smidge too cool, but pellets will be super handy for casting.

We did a third smelt, but I don’t have photos as yet. It produced more consolidated copper at about the same ratio of ore to metal.