Pewter Casting

Tutorial Class by Julia Cowie - At the Guild of Enamellers Conference, April 2017.

Erika Speel and Kathleen Litherland

This was a stimulating, busy class: in which we learned much in a short time and also greatly enjoyed the day, and everyone finally had some charming and interesting pewter castings to take back home.

Summary of the Tutorial class:

Modern quality pewter is an alloy of several metals, the chief ingredient being tin, with a melting point within 170 – 230o C [338 – 448 o F], depending on the composition. While an excellent material for casting of decorative, finely detailed objects, such a low melting point makes it incompatible with enamelling. In Julia’s class in pewter casting we had instruction and gained some practice in reproducing small objects with this material. Items such as a shell, little key or bracelet charm, up to about 5 cm. [c 1½ in.] long, and without undercutting, were selected and these were the ‘formers’ to be reproduced with the casting. Using appropriate protective aprons, masks, etc., we learned two methods:

Method 1 - Making a mould using cuttlefish bone.