Making the mould for sections of an Art Deco chandelier...

First waxes out with their feed runners attached.

I'm casting them in pairs. These are ready to be invested and cooked in the kiln..

The wax melts away after four days in the kiln, and molten bronze fills the void. Here are three finished pieces.

Ivy tangle with feed system

I make these tangles using the 'burnout casting' method. Apart from the feed system there is no wax involved. The ivy burns away after its time in the kiln and molten bronze fills the space that remains. (hopefully)

Ivy tangle with feed system

I make these tangles using the 'burnout casting' method. Apart from the feed system there is no wax involved. The ivy burns away after its time in the kiln and molten bronze fills the space that remains. (hopefully)

Bracken tangle

When putting on the runner feeds I have to think about how the bronze will flow. I only have one shot at casting these. It has to reach all areas as quickly as possible as it will cool quickly traveling through these small spaces. I like how these tangles look at this stage with the runner feeds attached, sometimes its a shame to cast them!

..more ivy

Investing lengths of bracken.

To make larger pieces I have to cast individual lengths and construct them in metal. Here I'm coating the bracken with investment, (a combination of ceramic sand and plaster) which builds up and hardens to leave you with an investment mould.

Box mould for lengths of bracken.

Lots of delicate stems on this one so instead of applying investment by hand I'm trying out placing them in a box and pouring it in.

Lengths of dried cow parsnip

Preparing lengths of cow parsnip stems for a larger sculpture. This one will be constructed in bronze after casting.

Cow parsnip

Feed system attached and ready to invest...

soon to be bronze staffs...

Bronze staffs for glass artist David Reekie.

soon to be bronze staffs...

Thin stems need many feeds

All 24 successfully cast which is a relief, now for the metal finishing. Link below shows a couple of finished ones with their figures

Casting demonstration at The Alde Valley Spring Festival.

Full kiln

Bracken construction

Early stage in the construction of a larger bracken piece.

Bracken construction

All welded together now. A lot of metal finishing to go before before its complete though. Finished piece can be seen in the gallery

Poplar tangle

...ready for investing

Poplar tangle

A late night pour

York stone leaf

IMG_5488

Opening up the investment moulds

Once filled with bronze and left to cool for a while the investment moulds can be opened up. Fingers crossed at this point!

Woodland hut

For a residency with The Alde Valley Spring Festival I built this studio hut in the bluebell woods in Great Glemham, Suffolk. For a few weeks I worked there taking moulds from the dead sweet chestnut limbs

The roof about to go on...

Bluebells starting to come through..

Chestnut branch mould

Some of these dead limbs had been lying untouched for over 30 years. I found the sections I wanted to use and then worked in situ.

Sweet chestnut mould

Small branches, however, I could bring back to the studio to work on..

Sweet chestnut mould

First wax!

Scaling up...

scaling up

Microcrystalline wax remains quite soft in the warm weather so plenty of struts are needed to prevent everything from collapsing.

The finished piece!

Freshly cast cow parsnip.

Welding done on 'Heracleum'

Constructed from lengths of cast cow parsley, cow parsnip and hogweed..

New piece underway...

I'm casting them in pairs. These are ready to be invested and cooked in the kiln..