A railway bridge with no railway, but the cast aluminium panels are now in place.
Above, inspecting the assembly with the cast panels in place for the bridge parapets .
The images above are not in sequence but show some stages in making a pair of commissioned wine coasters, each set with 66 x ( 6 x 4mm) moonstones. The top right shows the first stage of applying gold sheet to the inside surface using heat before setting the stones. The bottom left shows setting the moonstones. The centre is soldering on the settings, there is a great deal of soldering beginning with enamelling solder, followed by hard and finally easy solder, using tipex to prevent the earlier easy from re melting. The other pictures show the settings being made to fit each stones variation in shape and size before being put in numbered order for soldering and finally setting, terrible problems are caused if the stones get out of order with the settings. The design could almost do for bridge parapet, though getting moonstones that large would be a problem. I love the effect of changing scales as between fine silver or gold and large scale foundry castings.
The images above are from a visit to Hytec to see the first castings for the railway bridge parapets and think about finishes. Because the bridges goes over a road there is a risk assessment for dazzling reflected light. As usual there are compromises to be reached.
Wearing a funny hat. I now realize that I’d forgotten to untuck my trousers after getting off my bike, also I hadn’t been able to find my shoes, hence the trainers.
Designs for a railway bridge parapet at a new freight terminal built on the site of a former radar station. Two panels high, each panel is 2.1 x 1 4 metres . I had a difficulty with the design because I originally wanted a single row but because of the proportions of the bridge, limitations upon the size of the castings and practicalities of construction, amongst other things, we finally settled upon this design out of a number of options.
Transferring the drawing to wood for carving. The red spray is to mark the areas to be cut through.
After jigsawing the piercings I used chisels to cut the angle or ‘draft’ necessary for sand casting. After chiselling I used wood rasps followed by successive grades of sand paper. There can be no undercuts or roughness to the surface. It was good to find, after experimenting with a number of options, that I could for the first time find a use for my fathers mallet and chisels. I can only handle the small mallet, the large one is impossible to use – for me.
The first pattern nearing completion
The ‘mirror’ patterns completed
When ‘chasing’ silver it is set into pitch for shaping with steel punches. Here I am burning the pitch off. If I have time I will dissolve the pitch off overnight with white spirit.
There is a long tradition of chased dishes that rather than being functional are valued as objects in themselves.
The pictures above show some stages in the making of a commissioned fruit dish which detaches from the stem which can then double as a candlestick.
One half of the AWG wood pattern for a cast iron barrel vault beam completed ready for sand casting.