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Above – Prince Charles visiting AWG to see the new roof and having the dubious benefit of me explaining sand casting.

Below on ‘Doris’ at a Silverstone track day at which we partially melted the surface of the tyres, she might be 31 years old with spongy front and no back brakes but she is still a lovely bike. Other pictures below show some stages in  different projects since 2016.

I am also assisting Martyn Pugh in an installation for the New Birmingham Assay office.

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Above – wax models for a commission to make a unicorn to be cast into bronze in 2018

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A railway bridge with no railway yet, but the cast aluminium panels I designed and carved the patterns for are now in place. I think the bridge opens at the end of 2017. The next bridge is over the A5 and work is due to begin at the end of 2017.

 

Above, inspecting the assembly with the cast panels in place for the bridge parapets . At the same time I was making the wine coasters below and some ‘chased’ silver dishes shown further down. The cast iron beams immediately below are for the AWG building in Queens Square in London to be installed  in early Autumn 2017.

AWG set up

 

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 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, the design has to be difficult to vandalise, secure, not dazzle in sunlight and reference the sites former function as a Radar installation..

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           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.

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Design for rail bridge parapets aproximately 2.1 m high by 21 metres long. The design had to fit between posts to give 10 units of a given size which was tricky. Cast in aluminium with specially extruded aluminium posts to hold the castings. The design reflects the original use of the site as a radar station.

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Transferring the drawing to wood for carving. The red spray is to mark the areas to be cut through.

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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 father’s  mallet and chisels. I can only handle the small mallet, the large one is impossibly heavy – at least for me it is.

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The first pattern nearing completion

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Right at the start of ‘chasing’ a 300 mm diameter silver dish. The sheet is first roughly formed before being set into pitch or bitumen. This supports the silver whilst it is being worked, the pitch resisting the tool whilst supporting the metal so that one can work with precision and control. One can gain some idea of the process by indenting  aluminium foil by running ones finger nail across it.

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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.

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The 14 reminds me of the number of times it has been turned in the pitch to be worked, first from one side and then the other. Still a long way from completion. The hammer is the smallest of two repousse hammers that I use.

 

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.

Below, working in the Kohler iron foundry in Wisconsin in 2008

Iron pour x 1

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One half of the AWG wood pattern for a cast iron barrel vault beam completed ready for sand casting.

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First casting. One of 13 cast iron beams designed to carry a glass roof.