Sunday, December 18, 2016

Melted metal with a message

I wanted to melt a few different and small amounts of gold and silver that had belonged to me, Fiona and her mum to create a couple of small pieces of jewellery that carried the memories of all three of us. I had to do this metal melting on my own as I wanted it to be a surprise for Fiona. I wanted pieces that showed the natural texture of the molten metal as it set as soon as it hit the air. As you can see from the photos below I managed three small pieces: one pendant and a couple of pairs of earrings.

©2016 Barry Smith - Ingot (about 2cm square and 2-3mm thick) - solid silver and a little gold
©2016 Barry Smith  - Small ingot earrings - shaped and hammered with dandelion image stamped into them
©2016 Barry Smith  - Small ingot earrings - natural forums - Fiona's favourites
And of course because I had fired up the electric melting melting furnace I decided to replace a few of my heart shapes; and pour a a couple of ingots etc using the fine offcuts of silver-plated brass and EPNS.

Again I was doing this on my own so it was a bit hard to juggle the propane flame to keep the moulds and the pouring metal hot - therefore the metal had a bit of a tendency to cool in blobs very quickly as it came off its 1100degree centigrade peak. Still I managed some good heart shapes with texture.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Three silver-brass hearts - still in natural poured form
©2016 Barry Smith  - Three silver-brass hearts - shaped and polished
A couple of broken hearts?

©2016 Barry Smith  - This is what happens when the metal is cooling off in the pour and the soul is not warm enough
I plan to stamp the back of the hearts with the words love, hope and peace.

A good solid ingot poured the last of the metal into a rectangular mould.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Solid silver-brass ingot (about 2.5cm wide X 5cm long X 2cm high) 
I largish pendant ingot.

©2016 Barry Smith  - Solid silver-brass ingot (about 2.5cm wide X 5cm long X .5 cm high)
And offcuts that will find homes. Look a bit like gold nuggets???

©2016 Barry Smith  - Solid silver-brass offcuts - shaped, polished and stamped with dandelion images
I still think metal melting is a two person task from both the safety perspective and keeping moulds and metal at optimum temperature. Still not a bad outcome.


  1. this looks a bit like risky business, such high temps! lovely to use personal treasure to make memory pieces.

  2. Hi V - risky given the temperature - but ok when precautions are taken - and lots of fun too. Peace. B

  3. Love the textures, very tactile. You are clever.


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