Casting in Portugal


I can’t believe that I’ve been back from running the casting workshop in Portugal for over a week. This was where we did our casting (except on the evening when we had pizza). The pizza wood ash came in handy as parting powder for our sand moulds; the location was splendid and we had a great time (though I say it myself)aquaworkshop

A selection of tools on the table tennis table.


A wire bound mould ready to pour.


We used natural finds including these bits of pine cone, cast in both cuttlefish and oilsand.


and these lobster claws worked well in oilsand casting.

I hope to run this workshop again next year, so do let me know if you are interested.


Casting Workshop – Portugal


I was checking through my casting techniques today, to make sure that I pack what I need for Portugal. This is the cuttlefish casting, which I poured outside as the burning fish bone smells.


This is the casting inside the cuttlefish. The cuttlefish texture can look really good (this is not a good example though)


This is the same dog cast in oil sand, still with sprues and funnel. The oil-sand holds the detail and doesn’t flash the way the cuttlefish tends to. On the right is the wee bone original.


And these are the three dogs – cuttlefish, oil-sand and beach-sand castings.

The beach-sand has a great texture which is why I use it for my work

Cuttle fish casting practice

As I think I’ve mentioned already, I hope to run a casting work shop at Aqua Ventura (Portugal) this November. I’m just back from brushing up my casting skills with the lovely Zoe Arnold at West Dean.

I’m planning to start with cuttlefish casting using cuttlefish that we will collect on the beach (but I’ll make sure there are some dry reserves.)


The cuttlefish set up to pour in the molten metal.


The opened mould once the metal has been poured and allowed to cool, showing the shell, the pouring button and air vents.


The other side of the shell casting showing the cuttlefish markings.

All I need to do now is cut off the surplus metal, make the cuts look like the rest and take a photo. I may shine it back to silver too.


ImageWe started term cuttlefish casting – these have still to be cleaned.


then we moved on to wax carving – this is a sprued wax wire model.


these are models using natural materials (the red wax was poured into a snow mould)


and these are the two pieces that I’ve cast in bronze using lost wax process and the centrifugal caster. Great fun. The piece on the left was wax into snow and the righthand piece is from a wax wire model.

week 11 casting and 3d printing


This acorn is cuttlefish cast from a wee acorn.Image

This is the cuttlefish the acorn and a wee key were cast in. The key was made from a watch key imprint with some adaptation to look like a lock key.


Dougie, who works for Imprints at the college, helped me take a 123d scan of my mussel shell half; he then made it into a mesh for 3d printing and printed it. My contribution is the etched piece it sits on.


This is it printing. I may be getting it in ceramic too, so that I can try different materials with the sound transducer.


This is the inside, showing a rather nice build up of layers, a bit like how a real mussel does it, but quicker.