Stone to Bowl grand finale

Last week was my final week of work at Scottish Sculpture Workshop on my VACMA funded Stone to Bowl copper project.

It focused on getting the bellows organised so that I can work anywhere in the landscape. Monday was spent fixing the blower which had arrived fractured. Eden Jolly did most of the work as it involved tig welding, but I did the cleaning of the joins and offered cups of tea. Eden and Fleur (an Erasmus student) made it a super wee base and I went to Portsoy to get it some flexible tubing. fanblowerSept18By Wednesday all was ready to return to copper smelting trials. The smelt balls tend to over heat in the shaft furnace as it’s hard to see what is going on.


So on Thursday I dug a pit furnace and trialed that smelting with great success.I got 35gm copper from 50gm ore in 30 minutes and using about 2kg of charcoal.


On Friday it was time to trial the bowls mentioned in the project title. This was using ore I’d smelted alloyed with 10% silver. The photo shows the open mould after casting. The copper did not complete the pour. I need to redesign the bowls with a thicker base. Even after heating the moulds and with sling casting, the copper would not stay molten in such a thin walled vessel.


Spending 4 weeks developing processes and tools has been brilliant and the work goes on.

Stone to Bowl


Finally the hand cranked forge blower has arrived. This is hopefully the last piece of the Stone to Bowl project. The forge blower will deliver air to the furnace, powered by hand rather than electricity. I’ll find out next month at SSW if it can be made to work. If the bellows can be hand powered it means that I can work anywhere,


This is the model we hope to replicate.

Stone to Bowl

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/

Stone to Bowl


The New Year bonfire was the first trial smelt of the year. I didn’t expect much from it and it wasn’t a great success, because the bonfire dropped through into the rock pool beneath it. It seemed a good way to celebrate the New Year though.

The photo is the wet remains when the bonfire had burnt out, a gift to the sea.


Cambo stables exhibition


Still time to drop into the new visitor heritage centre at Cambo and see some artworks. Some local artists, including Keny Drew, Judith Heald and Linda Jackson, have a horse stall each to display their work. This is mine.


It’s a lovely display area and there are interesting displays about the history of the estate and the stables.


Most days you will find the cafe and shop open as well.


also your eyes may focus better than my photos…

They reopen 4th January 2018.

Workshop in Munich


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.

mixeedbowls copy

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.



Alchimia, into week 2

I continued with the resin and the foam. I had some disasters (too much hardener):-


and too little hardener (parts are sort of bendy):-


and some more door designs


The foam is melted away with acetone, leaving interesting ‘insides’ – the courtyards and corridors that are behind the street doors:-

resinholesivenos resinholesviiienos

Some texture work to capture the aged walls and surfaces:

resinpatinaenos resincreamenos

and creating metal frames/courtyards, with resin hollow forms inside:-


This last is a resin ‘pool’ from foam, with a metal piece in it sanded back.

Emerging artist in residence SSW Week 3

I had a successful firing of my new furnace and made this beautifully coloured tumbler. I think the colour is partly from the sand-mix from Auchindour which has iron in it.redtumblerviii_enos

furnacesetup_enos The furnace set up

furnacesswpostpour_enosAfter the pour

sandmouldsswenos opening the sand box

I also cut back a large bowl that hadn’t cast fully and achieved a perfectly acceptable bowl, which I textured and patinated.


patinationssw_enospatinating with ferric nitrate

mediumbowlcloseup_enosclose up

I textured and patinated my sound stone from ‘Mary of Guise’ beach:

beachstonebox_enos beachstoneboxv_enos

Also a Cellardyke sand tumbler got finished (texture and patina). May still work on the sparkle factor:-


I used the Auchindour sand to cast a wee silver piece to sit in the copper ‘goblet’ made in Week 2:


And this pour also gave a lovely piece of ‘waste’ for my collection of pieces to be developed into wearables.

silvercastingssw_enos the wee bowl and casting waste

I did a lot of editing of the to-do list, but all in all a very productive three weeks.

Thanks to Eden and everyone at SSW

SSW Emerging artist in residence week 2

Week two saw the completion of my mobile furnace.

This was made in an old gas cylinder – spent a morning filling it with water and then emptying it again to make sure all the gas was out. Then I cut it up to give it a lid and holes for air. Finally I lined it with clay and dried it out.

furnacedryingi_enos These are the chaps playing about with a gas flame thrower to dry out the clay. (George, Eden and Uist)


The first firing was a bit of a learning process, I struggled to keep the charcoal out of the crucible and I found that two blowers cooled the crucible and blew the charcoal about.furnace1stfire_enos1  The pic shows two blowers going into my wee furnace. I made the housing for the blower on the right too. I managed to pour a small part of a rim,

it is a very pretty colour.bronzerim_enos

I used a horse-poo-mix crucible lid, which was pretty successful, but it melted a bit, so I’m not sure I’d use it for a crucible. I rather like it though.cruciblewilid_enos

Eden and Uist are making a temporary sauna and have whisky barrel staves for cladding. I thought these would make a good local sandbox material and cut the pieces for a small box that will make a spoon mould. This is it screwed together and ready to use.sandboxstaves

Uist did a copper pour (he and Ben had pieces to cast) I added in a couple of sand ring moulds as I don’t like to miss a pour.


This shows the two wee bowls cast in copper and a mass of copper that mis-poured into the sand pit. I am keeping that for enameling sometime.

Casting on the beach – bell metal


More photos of the day we cast on the beach.

These show the reincarnation of a cracked bell (bell metal) into a wee vessel.


We tried to mix metal pour the bronze with copper, but the copper was too difficult to keep at temperature and blocked the mixed pour.


So only the smaller cast was successful. The bell metal became particularly colourful as it got very hot waiting for the copper to be ready.