Its been a long cold winter spent in Jon Rodney Jones’ metal workshop. JRJ is the kind of person who if you say can I do such and such, he will say yes. This is in some part the truth but taking on a project of this kind should come with a warning! Yes you can; but its going to be a long, hard, painful process! That will teach me to be full of bright ideas. I do however feel so privileged to have been able to learn how to cast in metal, to pour molton bronze is quite something. I am also very grateful that Jon allowed me to be involved in the whole process from making the moulds to angle grinding the finished piece. Mostly I am grateful to still have all my fingers and my eyebrows!
Here are some photos of the process of casting metal handles:
Part 1: clay former and silicone mould
Part 2: Casting in wax and then shaping and moulding
Part 3: The wax gets covered in a plaster type solution, this takes a long time to build up the layers to make a strong mould.
Part 4: Lost wax
Part 4: Metal casting
Part 5: Cleaning up, grinding back the metal and fitting to the ceramic sculpture
I would like to say never again but…
So whilst I am recuperating from another op I thought I would write a post about Baluster Jugs. I first came across these beautiful forms whilst I was studying for my MA. There are some fabulous examples in many museums including the Museum of London and the V&A. I was really drawn to the tulip necked type which has been the main inspiration for my baluster jug forms.
Tulip necked Baluster 1250 AD
One of my first baluster jugs
The baluster is probably one of the hardest forms that I throw, mainly because of its height, narrowness and curves. One day I will confident in my abilities to make these forms, currently it feels like a bit of a battle. These are some of the stages of making:
I learnt to throw this particular shape from watching the brilliant Doug Fitch who like most potters is very generous with advice and information.
14th century Baluster
1906-1983 Yellow Baluster
Mid 13th Century Balusters
Traditionally these jugs would have been used for carrying wine or ale and I believe there may have been a connection between the shape and the way they were transported in cargo ships. I like mine to be used as vases or just as a beautiful quirky object to brighten up your home.
Some of my recent work
So here is a wee film of me making and talking about my work
In other news myself and my trusty assistant are working on a big cartel shop so you will be able to buy direct very soon