This silver necklace has a lapis drop, the Forth dolphin and a silver heart all handing from a silver-frame ring. The chain is a silver belcher chain and the clasp is my own bar and ring fastening so it is easy to wear.
The sea didn’t bring me the witch stone direct, it’s from a beach in New Zealand; the glass bead is from Czech Republic and the dolphin charm is obviously a Firth of Forth dolphin. Just putting together some individual pieces for ENOS 2019 which are sort-of sustainable as I’m not buying new stuff.
I finished this piece on Sunday. It is part of a bone counter with a little tab from an old necklace and a hammered silver ring.
I also took a photo of the rising moon as I probably wouldn’t wake up for the eclipse.
This year I’m making jewellery for Open Studios and Pittenweem Arts Festival using what I think I’ll call ‘sea-drift’. The seaweed on which the design is based was storm-cast on the beach. These ‘mermaid’ necklaces are saw pierced silver, hammered and formed. Two have moonstone drops and are oxidised, I have sent these to VAS ALIGHT 2019 in Edinburgh.
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. By 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.
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.
“Julia Cowie casts metal vessels and spoons palpably redolent of ancient landscapes and people”.
Sue Wilson. The Scotsman 8th August 2018