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Bronze casting workshop has ‘exciting’ results

Students working with flames, which are used to heat the tools and melt wax. The wax model for a ships bell is in the centre, awaiting inscription. PICTURE: MIKE WOOLDRIDGE

Students working with flames, which are used to heat the tools and melt wax. The wax model for a ships bell is in the centre, awaiting inscription. PICTURE: MIKE WOOLDRIDGE

A MODEL toad and a special toilet seat hinge were among the items created at a bronze casting workshop in Shoreham.

A group of 11 Riverbank residents and friends enjoyed the course, organised by Lucy Gill, on Houseboat Verda over the last two weekends.

Tutor David Wilson taught them how to cast bronze items using the lost wax process.

The range of items produced included door knockers, candlesticks, door handles, rings, buttons, small figures and a bronze age axe.

Mike Wooldridge, one of those taking part, said: “First, one carves and shapes a wax model. Then this, or similar, is covered in refractory material – basically a mixture of colloidal silicon and fired clay granules.

“Several coats are applied, and when dry, the whole assembly is heated in a flame to melt the wax, and leave a fused mould capable of receiving molten bronze.

“Finally, after melting in a simple furnace made wholly from ceramic fibre glass wool, the bronze is poured in. When solidified, the mould is broken open to reveal the original model, now made of bronze.”

He said that moment was ‘most exciting’ and the process had proved relatively simple, given expert tuition. As the materials involved were reasonably cheap, those taking part were keen to try more at home, he added.

It is hoped another course will be held at Riverbank and people can lodge their interest by emailing Mr Wilson at info@oreandingot.com or visit www.oreandingot.com for more information.

 

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