Friday, February 5, 2016

Molten metal

©2016 Barry Smith - Smoking hot - graphite crucible with molten metal at 1100 C
Some months ago a friend (Peter T) asked if he could do a metal melting day with me. Fiona and I set yesterday, 4 February,  in our diary. The weather had not been good, metal melting wise, for the previous few days - but yesterday dawned foggy but dry - so we decided to go ahead.

I put the electric furnace and a full crucible of small silver-plated brass and EPNS offcuts on at 8.30am. But by 10am when we were to do a pour the weather looked like this…

©2016 Fiona Dempster - Not the best day for melting and pouring metal
Still we sheltered ourselves from the rain and did the best we could with the pour.

I had made a few "green sand" (9 parts sand and 1 part clay mixed and dampened) moulds such as the small pyramid below. The colour of the sand is rusty as I was using fine rusty coloured sand.

Green sand mould
But we used a combination of sand, graphite and plaster (another experiment) moulds.

©2016 Peter T - Pouring into plater and graphite moulds
I was also experimenting with setting glass and watch parts into the metal by pouring the molten metal over a watch part and crushed glass and glass beads. Both these approaches worked in part - some potential with a bit of refinement.

2016 Fiona D - Brass-silver metal pyramid from plaster mould
©2016 Fiona D - Blue glass partly imbedded in metal
©2016 Peter T - Glass beads imbedded in metal
©2016 Fiona D - Watch body imbedded in metal
©2016 Fiona D - Metal heart
©2016 Peter T - Pieces knocked out of graphite moulds
©2016 Peter T - Small pyramid out of sand mould
©2016 Fiona D - Most of the pieces in the rough
The poured pieces have not been trimmed or polished - that is for another day.

Very safety conscious when doing this work - me with safety equipment.

©2016 Peter T - Ready for outer space?
Today (Friday-  I have been working on a few more Artisan Lamps and Steampunk influenced jewellery to go to JoSt Baker's gallery in Redcliffe - more on that on Sunday.


  1. Scary stuff but looks like a good outcome.

  2. love these photos! i was on a camping trip once with my students, one assistant found some fishing sinkers, carved a mold, melted the stuff over the campfire, and made an object...i was amazed by this campfire alchemy. yours is much more sophisticated, and SAFE, and i love the piece with the "jewels" in it.

  3. Fascinating results with the embedded bits. The partially melted glass beads and chips are intriguing. Sounds like a great time playing with the molten metal in spite of the uncooperative weather. Thank you again for sharing and for providing such interesting photos and techniques to ponder while I enjoy my morning coffee. Your posts are always a delight!

  4. Oh I love the experiments! The blue glass and metal looks like a brilliant thing to develop.
    Sandy in the UK

  5. What fun! I'm looking forward to seeing the 'finished' bits.

  6. What a great day you had, B! Fascinating stuff!


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.