Stone to Bowl clay dip moulds; incl wax melt out

Returning to Stone to Bowl:- The photo shows wax melt out and mould firing in the chimney furnace

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Once 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). Earlier posts explain the process for preparing the clay and horse poo for those who are interested.

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This photo shows the wax fingers after a first dipping.

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. The fine dip uses Holger Lonze’s dip recipe. Each layer has to dry before the next layer is added.

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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.

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Stone to Bowl model making

waxfingersprued I make my models using beeswax from a beekeeper who lives near St Andrews. She and her bees make lovely wax that smells delicious and is just right for making models.

I  started small but wanted to make fine models to challenge the techniques. I made finger tip rings by dipping my fingers in the melted wax. stonetobowlJuliaCowieThese then need to have pouring stalks added (sprues). They are then ready to be dipped in the clay mix to build up the mould.

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After successfully casting finger tip rings I moved on to small bowls which were made by dipping clay bowls in wax and adding pouring stalks.

 

The allure of copper – Stone to Bowl

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Alongside the traditional copper casting project I have done a copper/silver cast; using plumber’s copper and silver.

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and two-part sand moulds. This is partly sustainable, with all materials being recycled; but the heat used is gas.

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One of the pieces sold unfinished at ENOS 2018. The bowl has a metal ‘pebble’ inset, a blue heat patina and is almost clean copper on the exterior because I used a different greensand on the outside.

Some learning – try different sands to give cleaner surfaces but retain textures, cost in the silver, keep experimenting, copper is an attractive metal although challenging to work with.

Iron Casting photos from Studio RoRo

I have some great photos of the Iron Pour that Steve and I supervised at SSW, thanks to Ross Fraser Maclean of Studio RoRo

ironpourixA view into the inferno

ironfurnaceiThis is George Beasley lighting the furnace for his demonstration run.

ironpoureThis is the team discussing roles, the furnace is running on blown air to maintain and build up heat having been lit with the gas torch.

ironpourivAdding coke to the furnace onto a charge of scrap iron. The iron scrap melts and drops down to the bottom of the furnace. It is then tapped from the bottom into a crucible for pouring.

ironpourviiHeating the crucible ready for it to receive molten iron for pouring into moulds.

ironpourviiiYvonne taking notes for the log so we know how the furnace is running.

ironpourxiMolten iron tapped from the furnace flowing into the crucible for pouring

ironpourg copyAndrew and Uist pouring iron

ironpourfMy sand moulds with clay along the joins to minimize the amount of burning to the boxes.

ironpourcEden and I checking how the beach-sand moulds held up

ironpourdDropping the bottom when the last tap has been used. This coke can be cleaned and reused.

Iron Pour prep

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This is a teaser photo of preparations for the iron pour that Steve and I ran at the weekend. It is the inside of a sand mould for an iron beaker vessel. I have put a piece of copper alloy from my beach combing into the mould to see what happens.

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I now know what happened, but you will have to wait….

The pour was a great success thanks to George Beasley, Steve, Eden and the rest of the team at SSW. Thanks also to Charles Clark for the mould boxes.

Hot bronze – Scottish Sculpture Workshop 2

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I made some small jugs and some bowls to trial as new forms for casting.

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I left 5 sand moulds for hot bronze, more experiments…

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And this is a 3 bowl set, I can’t wait to get it cleaned and finished.

 

Scottish Sculpture Workshop (1)

I spent a week exploring developments of my casting. I managed to fit in two bronze pours and remake the moulds ready for a third.castbronzejan2017viii

This picture shows bronze ready to pour, with some mould boxes in the foreground.

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This picture shows small sapphires pinned into the beachsand mix. I am working on making sapphire windows in the cast bronze bowl.