Getting Started


I’m heading back to the studio to start work on all the new ideas from my week at Goldsmith’s Getting Started course. First job will be the year planner. Fortunately I now have two – one from HSWalsh (a freebie in our goodie bag) and one from the Design Trust.

I also had a drink with the new owner of the fine silver bowl pictured on exhibit at Goldsmiths.

Small Damascus bowl

The wee steel bowl in the last post has many incarnations. It has been 3D printed to use as a model for casting in green-sand (in bronze). It was sized up so the Damascus bowl can sit in it.


This is the mesh that was produced.


This is it scaled down and used for a silver and copper mixed metal cast. It sits in the wee bowl.


I have taken wax models of the outside and cast them in bronze using the beach-sand, and I have more wax models for future casts.

waxbowl1 copy_enos

There is also a direct cast with tripod legs that I am patinating with seawater, so it is gradually getting greener.


Ratho Forge – shaping Damascus steel

Last Saturday I spent the day at Ratho Forge outside of Edinburgh, where Pete helped me shape up the remaining pieces of Damascus steel that I’d made.

Not only does he have a fierce-some hot forge, but also some really great tools for shaping steel.

pressmachine_enos pressmachine1enos

This is a power operated press which can be used with different shapes of tools. In this case I was shaping a piece of Damascus plate, that I’d thinned down on one of the power hammers, into a bowl.

I’ve sand blasted the bowl and used a diamond burr to remove the crud, but it’s not etched yet.


I’ll post pics when it’s finished.

It has a lovely tone when struck and I’m consulting with musician friend Anne on whether we can create some music for it.

I also worked on two spoons, also not etched yet.

Thanks Pete

Damascus plans

Not to be left out on the Big News front, I have met with Pete from the Ratho Forge and set up a date to work further on my Damascus steel. Beat some more swords into ploughshares – well knife-metal into spoons. He has an amazing range of power hammers, an oil-fired forge and twenty-six years of experience, so that is pretty exciting.


Damascus teaspoon etched, but not yet sanded back


A different spoon etched and sanded back.


A couple of pretty pics

The witch hazel in my garden in January snow

Damascus long spoon


I have made a long spoon from one of the damascus steel twists (and have bought some photographic equipment so that I can get some better pics)


The spoon is shaped with an angle grinder and then filed and sanded smooth on the parts where I want to reveal the pattern. The steel is then etched to reveal the patterning, then the raised parts gently sanded to leave the contrast of the two metals.

I think it is my second favourite piece to date

Damascus steel – ‘sheet’

Last weekend I spent three days at Owen Bush’s forge making damascus steel. We used gas forges mainly as the temperature is easier to control, and power hammers as they reduce the effort and time required to work the steel.

damascusfurnace This is the start 11 layer billet for the piece I formed into two bowls.

gasfurnacepuck This is the same piece when it has been hammered and folded to give 88 layers and then hammered down to a more rounded sheet.

damascustexThis is the piece textured and ground back so that the pattern will show through.

damascusivThis is the pattern on the piece that has been cleaned and etched just for a look-see.

ringtooliiThis is the tool I used to hammer the piece into a bowl.

I will take some pics of the finished pieces soon.

Week 29

Did a great Damascus steel workshop at the Bushfire Forge and produced (with help) a piece of twisted layered steel ready to be furthered worked probably into rims; and a disc of 88 layers of steel again ready to be further worked if I can get access to the forges at college. Otherwise a major ebay expedition may be needed.

88 layers of hot welded patterned steel

88 layers of hot welded patterned steel

wrought iron and steel bar

wrought iron and steel bar


me twisting hot 7 layer bar

me twisting hot 7 layer bar