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.


Three iron bowls heading to the Fisher Galleries, Pittenweem.


I have finished this iron bowl that was cast after SSW Open Day.



I think I have finished the smaller bowl cast that day too.


You may recall that it emerged looking like this.

Both incorporated iron ‘beach-combed’ in Cellardyke and have texture from sand from Cellardyke.


This third piece was made at a residency at SSW and has the imprint of larch cones.

I’m going to take these three iron pieces to the Fisher Studio and Gallery in Pittenweem later this week for their Autumn Exhibition, which runs until Christmas.

iron pour


I found my neighbour’s iron guttering on the rocks (the photo shows where it used to be)


and I took it to Scottish Sculpture Workshops. Where we melted it, along with other scrap iron (which Ross nobly ‘cracked’ while I did the sand bed for the furnace)ironpour

The molten iron was poured into a two-part sand mould of a small vessel form (and some other moulds)


This is the iron piece with runner and riser, tomorrow I’ll cut the extraneous bits off, but I rather like the patterns it makes in the sun.



I had a fun morningĀ  showing Kat and Trisha how to sand-cast. I managed not to take pictures, but they both made bowls and shell pieces.

We worked outside as it was a stunning day (still is)


Just popped out for proof!


Anyway it reminded me that I have two further workshops scheduled for this year:

8th August Plantlore and Jewellery as part of Pittenweem Arts Festivalbroochlichen

This is a brooch made at an earlier Plantlore workshopworkshop


and a week long sand casting workshop in The Algarve 13th to 20th November at Aqua Ventura.


Bronze Casting


I went up to the Scottish Sculpture Workshop last week with my three large mould boxes and here are the two bowls that were cast. One sand mould didn’t survive the journey, but these two bowls should look good once I’ve cut off the pouring cup and generally given them a bit of a clean and shine.


They looked a bit like satellite dishes on the beach today, enjoying the Scottish sunshine, but they are more tactile and a prettier colour.

Borders casting, the story continues (some more)


The block of sieved, cleaned clay, from Hume in the Borders, has dried in the sun (and wind). I’m hammering bits off it, then grinding it with the pestle and mortar. The powdered clay is then sieved and mixed with beach sand. This mixture, when it is correctly made up and moistened, can be made into sand moulds.


Here are three two-part sand moulds drying in the sun ready to go to the Scottish Sculpture Workshop to pour, because they are too big for my wee charcoal furnace. I’m hoping to make cast bronze bowls for my three shows this summer.

You can visit my studio as part of East Neuk Open Studios 21st and 22nd May and see my work.

Borders sand casting, the story continues

This is my first ‘Borders Bowl’ for exhibition at Hirsel Estate, Coldstream in July. It is a work in progress:-bordersbziv


I made it using bronze cast in the clay/sand mixture from Hume Castle and the beach at Whitesands.

The clay is dried, then slaked:-

2clayslakeienos sieved:- 3crailclay3

then dried again, then ground, before being sieved when dry and mixed with the sieved sand.

As you can imagine this takes some while.

I made up the mould in a two part sand box. The mixture of sand and clay has to be correct so that it holds the shape; and it has to be the right degree of moist. The former is removed and the sand box closed; and the mould is then dried ready to pour molten bronze. This we did on Friday at the Scottish Sculpture workshop. Thank-you Eden and Uist.sswbronzegd

This is the bowl as it came from the sand:- bordersbz

Come and see the finished piece at the White Fox gallery, from 24th July 2016.

I will be at the opening on the 24th and will explain the process if you remain confused.