Stone to Bowl

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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,

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This is the model we hope to replicate.

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Review in The Scotsman

“Julia Cowie casts metal vessels and spoons palpably redolent of ancient landscapes and people”.

Sue Wilson. The Scotsman 8th August 20181damascusbowlset

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Stone to Bowl clay dip moulds; incl wax melt out and all-in casting

Returning to Stone to Bowl:-

stonetobowlmouldfiringOnce the wax models have been made and sprued they are then dipped in a slurry mix of clay (this time from Kingsbarns) sand (Cellardyke beach) and fibre (horse poo from near Kilrenny). There are two mixes, one is fine and the early coats are done in this and the other is coarser to build up the outer layers. Each layer has to dry before the next layer is added so it takes several days to build up the mould.

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When the mould is built up a clay funnel is added. The moulds are then ready for the wax to be burnt out. The first photo shows the burn out. Below are the moulds that have been burnt out.

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The link below is to an animated film about lost wax casting, which explains the process well.

https://hyperallergic.com/286780/an-animated-guide-to-the-bronze-age-technique-of-lost-wax-casting/

I also tried out a casting method where you burn out the wax and then put the copper alloy in one end of the mould. You then seal up the mould with a lid and clay mixture and return the mould to the furnace. stonetobowlmoulds

This photo shows the moulds and lids ready for burn out.

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This photo shows the all in one moulds ready to return to the furnace for the copper melting stage.

In theory the copper heats to melting point and you upend the mould and the copper pours into the part that you want to cast, In practice because you can’t see the metal it is difficult not to either get incomplete melting or over heating and the metal seeping out through the ceramic shell.

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The photo shows incomplete melting, the copper is fused (bottom right)

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This photo shows a mould where the metal over heated and seeped through the mould walls. There are two moulds, one complete (but rattles so I’ve not broken it) and an open one.

The moulds with incomplete melting can be ‘re-used’ as open moulds.

 

Plantlore and jewellery making

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Some lovely pieces were made by the people at my workshop yesterday, a super eye for design.

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I’ve since made a couple more pairs like these earrings as I think the colour and design is good (shame about the photo)

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Some of the participants busy making.

Pittenweem Arts Festival continues until Sunday, pop by and see me at Venue 53 if you are in the area.

Fisher Gallery. New show June 2017

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Looking back to the sunny day when I took pieces down to the Fisher Gallery in Pittenweem.

Their summer show opens tomorrow, June 24th 2017.

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These are the six pieces they will be showing, so if you are in Pittenweem for ENOS, or any other reason, maybe just pop in and see them.

 

another sunny day

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I caught the last of the afternoon sun to take photos of some of my bowls which are heading to the Fisher Gallery in Pittenweem which re-opens April 1st http://www.fishergallery.co.uk. These are bronze, silver and brass pieces.

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I’ll also show some of  my small Damascus steel spoons.