Sadly we won't be able to man a stand at this years Hobby Crafts, 16-19 March 2017 at the NEC Birmingham although we are hoping to be back there in 2018.
This is a way of promoting The Guild of Enamellers, with demonstrations, showing examples of members work and talking to the visitors. We need help to do this so if anyone would like to volunteer for either a full or half day, please do contact us.
Travel expenses are covered . And entry for volunteers is free.
This is a great opportunity to chat about enamelling, and also to look around the exhibition yourself.
For any members who haven't had their journal yet, here are details about Conference, the workshops and costs etc.
Processing of applications will begin on 30th December. Places are allocated on a first come first served basis, if a workshop is oversubscribed on day one a ballot will be held. The Conference Secretary is prepared to accept e-mail notification of workshop choice, but to hold the place this must be backed up by a completed application form and payment within 10 days.
Jenny Edge Masterclass DVD now available at £10 plus p&p
W G Ball are in the process of creating a page on their website dedicated to showing all things enamelling. If any members of the guild would like to send them images of their work or videos, they would love to see them and put them onto the website.
Workshop Report – Casting for beginners Glenbuchat Group March 2016
Laura Selway invited me to do a casting workshop at the Aberdeenshire Group that meets regularly in Glenbuchat. Do get in touch with Laura if you want to go along. I was pleased to have been invited because casting is ‘my thing’, because I’m impressed by the activities of this group and to try out the casting workshop that I’ll be offering in the Algarve this November http://www.endlesssummersurfretreat.com/events-groups/julia-cowei/
Fig 1: Cuttlefish mould ready to pour
In the morning we tried out cuttle fish casting, a slightly hit and miss affair, but lovely when it works. Cuttlefish are available from www.cooksongold.comor your local pet shop. If you collect them from a beach do make sure that they are dry before you pour in molten metal.
Fig 2: Cuttlefish mould poured with silver (hence the burning)
We used pewter as this melts readily and pours well. Unfortunately it can’t be enameled because it melts at a lower temperature than the enamel. (If you Google you can find ways to paint it to look enameled, which I haven’t tried.) It is a really good practice metal for silver casting, as the technique is the same.
Fig3a and 3b: Finished cuttlefish casting
Pewter now is lead free and can be used for any silver-coloured project. Pewter can be bought from www.britishtinandpewtermills.com and melts with a standard d-i-y gas torch.
Fig 4a and 4b: pewter castings
In the afternoon we did oil sand casting, which gives finer detail and is more reliable as a method. It has less character if you like more organic pieces, but is good if you want accuracy.
Fig 5: Oil sand mould just after metal pour
A kit is available from Cookson Gold or a search on eBay will give you more economic options. I also got the handled crucible from eBay. It is really good for pewter pours.
Fig 6: Opening the two-part sand mould
In my work I use a local beach sand and local clay mix that I make up. The sand is re-useable, unlike the cuttlefish moulds, which tend to burn.
Fig 7: Pewter bowl cast in beach sand mix
Fig 8: Silver bowl cast in beach sand.