Stone to Bowl


The second casting that I did with my first-smelt copper produced the ‘Manx cat’, a mouse, a pudding charm of the Christ child and two partial shells.

The mouse and the pudding charm were the more successful pieces. I have ordered a different kind of casting ring for the shells, to see if that is more successful. The shells are too fine for a conductive metal like copper, which tends to cool before completing the mould.

It is exciting using metal that you have ‘made’ yourself.



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

Week 5 Making moulds for sand casting

The college foundry is set up for large items, sculpture I think. I made 4 sand moulds to try out different formers and different sands.


The oil sand mould for the copper tea vessel was carved to enlarge the thickness so that the metal would stay hot enough during the pour in the quite thin walls. The copper vessel I had raised as part of the white pine native american project.


The greensand mould for the ceramic tea bowl was tamped down carefully to avoid breaking the vessel.


I mixed sifted beach sand with dried ground clay to make the beach sand mould for the turned wooden tumbler that I’d made earlier in the term.


The fourth piece was also oil sand and of this wood mould. I carved on the inside of the form to test what this would look like,


Roddy was very helpful with all this work, making new mould boxes and helping make the moulds.