Here's the top, now all polished and dandy, i use ferric chloride from Maplins and it blacks it up very well!
 The side, came up well too, at least the roses look like roses ah!
More of it , i think it came out well..I posted it off to the good old U.S or A yesterday... flipinell post is expensive on anything over 2 Kg.. £43!

Never going to make any money out of bowls!


 Sooooo.. here's the lovely wax, most of it melted in a double boiler and poured into the bowl. Beautiful colour isn't it....came in bars which me and the lad used in a sword fight!. Only one trouble is on i didn't consider. The dammed stuff shrinks as it cools, so its not in contact with the copper. Not a great deal but enough to make it tricky.
 A few taps and its falls out!.. Hum going to have to think about this, the original idea entailed beeswax and plaster of Paris.
So unable to get Plaster Of Paris but my reasoning builders plaster is a reasonable-ish substitution. Though a bit gritty it mixed well. And made the lovely red a putrid pink. Reasoning is that if the wax shrinks half and half with plaster it will shrink half as much as the plaster is just solid filler. good idea only it still dam well shrinks! Maybe ok though latter when the bowl is in it's proper shape i will try it anyway.

thinking on things its a rare thing that doesn't shrink as it cools, possibly only one thing grows as it cools and that ice!.....dam the laws of physics!

"Holding up" Pitch, plastecene and wax.

lately i've been experimenting with different methods of "holding up" the metals. Tradition dictates a mix of Pitch oil and plaster of Paris, but that seems ok for smaller bits like jewellery. Not so good when i need a 12" bowl full. Plasticine works well but its hard work to get it moulded in and if you loose patience and heat it up  n the oven (sorry wife!) it gets very hot and painful to use and also looses some of its mojo after a few times, it goes all crumbly and nasty. I thought about it and resolved to add Vaseline/patrolium jelly as its basically chalk and jelly anyway. Its hard to mix, even the wife's Kenwood mixer eventually threatened to burn out. And its hellishly sticky when mixed rather too soft too. and When i used it it glued itself to the bowl with some tenacity. I had to scrub like mad to get it off. Pitch can be expensive and hard to get hold of. Seemingly in the Uk anyway, its not the roofers pitch usually but fancy Baltic pitch that's softer and its mixed with various things to make up bulk. I chanced on a web site that mentioned beeswax and plaster mix for the job, so thinking laterally. beeswax =expensive, ordinary wax cheep. i searched for wax on the net and found this site. thinking that modelling wax seemed ideal. However a phone call to the guy changed my mind he thought that wax would shatter when hit so recommended a more robust wax used as "sprue" for "lost wax casting". This stuff and rather impressively he was able to work out just how much would fill a bowl USING MATHS! (i could have with thought but would probably ended up just filling one with water) Anyway as i type i've melted some and a copper bowl is sitting full to the brim in the kitchen awaiting my punches.
The advantage of wax is that it melts easily (at about 60 to 70degrees) Pitch is messy and melting it out of the horribly easy to melt pewter didn't appeal. Lets see ah!

The Rose Bowl

 Here it is. The angel is al polished up and groovy, raised in the midsection so you can pour water in, with holes for rose stems.
 The rest of it, OK so its not a great pic but its raining again! The roses really stand out well.
So there its is, i ended up beating the op round the bowl and fixing it on, probably its supposed to be removable but the lip just sort of went on and getting it off would be destructive, so i left it. Works fine.....again it looks very non shiny but the petals are glittery silver and the background dark.

Here she is all full of (intentional) holes.

I spend a lot of time trying not to put holes in the metal but this time i wanted 'em. I just backed it up with plywood and put a big drill through, goes through like its cheese. The centre hole for filling the bowl with water i did with a hole saw/plug thingy. Interestingly it sort of melts as it goes through so gives it a bevelled edge, quite neat really. The poor angel suffered a hole through her chest and the big'un through her... well through her.  Notice i rolled out a sheet of plasticine to back it up for the hammering action to start.

Slight progress...

So the pewter did arrive yesterday. The delivery guy was intrigued to find out just what this heavy flat thing was but was satisfied with "pewter sheet".  So i've drawn out and angle and marked on the holes that the rose stems go through. Even managed not to put a hole through her boobs or face! comes the hammering bit , which i'm rather looking forwards to. I've not really done any on flat sheet before, i hope it is easy and smooth as it looks like it might be , but i wont hold my breath. I've left a good margin at the edge to rim and turn so it fits like a lid on the bowl... that's the hope anyway....Smoke me a kipper!

The new shed in its glory, Its been raining for months so the turf i put on the roof and confidently expected to die is flourishing, in fact its too long! rather typically i've half finished it and now all the small jobs are being ignored.

My bench constructed out of HUGE 8" wide planks from the builders merchants with the idea it would deaden noise and stop the bouncing about. Its on a block pier and stakes sunk into the earth floor. I can recommend and earth floor as its just earth! And if i drop things they don't bounce away to be forever lost! Notice in a fit of organisation i've hung everything up, i know if i cant see a tool i wont use the dammed thing. Quite a lot of light gets through those glass bricks too and they were cheap from Truro Reclamation. Rail track is waiting and polished.

The other end and what the wife likes to say is her end, notice the fancy front, that burnt out my £10 jig saw! But its there to try to limit flexing. The etching press is very useful for flattening metal. See the Cardoon is doing wel outside too.

Of course what everyone needs is a bowling ball on a stick. I had expressed and interest in a bowling ball meaning a wooden one to help shape the bowls but that's what the wife came up with and who am i to argue. Its uber bouncy and might well be good....the compressor is there as i thought id spray paint the craggy wall, what really happened is it made an awful mess and gave me a head ache.

And big news I got and anvil! Its probably been used for the last hundred years to beat horse shoes and its well worn not flat but boy is it heavy!, rings like a bell too.

 Now on with the motley. Nice hammer ah! and a bit of pewter see what i can make out of this....

 Apparently i can make a mess out of that...the air was blue i stretched it just a might to far. See that chink of light that's what disaster looks like in a pewter bowl. In fact there were three splits. that's triple horrible. I had to scout round to try to save a couple of days work. i have some ultra low melt solder, but i had to borrow some "backers number three" flux from a mate. (i bough him a new lots..ten quid!) what could possibly go wrong.

Plenty can go wrong and usually does.I can for example solder two holes up fine then in triumph linger a second to long and blow a hole straight through it...the air was blue the chickens blushed.

No time to cry over it all, it is a blow someone wants to pay me for after all i started again.. and here it is sans any splits and pretty deep. Its going to be a "rose bowl" so it has to be a bit deep.

No time to cry over it all, it is a bowl someone wants to pay me for after all i started again.. and her it is sans any splits and pretty deep. Its going to be a "rose bowl" so it has to be a bit deep.

 And after a bit of frantic hammering and thinking of designs i fixed on Tudor roses as they are bold and ordinary roses look like cabbages in relief.  As usual i make it harder by putting foliage on it too.

Her it is Plasticine on the outside and beaten out. A bit of adjustment was needed as it looked better on the inside than the out but i'm sorting that out.

The plasticine is ever the problem i mixed some with Vaseline in an effort to get it softer to mould in but it made it incredibly sticky to and very hard to remove. Eventually i steeled on coating the bowl in Vaseline and putting it on top of that which made it easier to get off but still hard work and very very hard to clean up. My idea of a proper Rose bowl has a top too, with hole sin it to place the rose stems in and i have a nice angel design in mind, but no pewter. So I'm waiting for that to arrive from Birmingham right now. Pewter prices seem a bit lower than the last time i bought it to but postage more!...cant win ah.
The hens poor things are in prisoned. Every time i go out they look at me like POW's.... It only lasted a few days though before they got out and made their way into the house!....
 Here's the very first blocks i ever laid on concrete. I used a spirit level but only for decorative purposes it seems as it went all out of whack pretty early on. As long as its solid it'll stand ah!...
 Here's the hole im working in, bug down to get some sort of level to work from. The old wall goes on and on deep so it didn't reach the bottom of it, which is good otherwise it might fall on me.
 Another view of the carnage. Notice i did dig footings and fill them with crushed up rocks etc. I poured liquid cement over it all and assumed (wrongly) that its sort of self levelled!
 Wow look a real looking wall! Notice though its very much not level at all in anyway. indeed the top bit is about 8 inches higher than the lower bit of wall.

 So a proper lintel was bought (they are very cheep!) to make it look like i'd meant it to be that way. I put great big bits off wood on top. They are called i'm told "wall plates" and are more usually laid to one side of the wall if you are at all compitant, but i was as ever making it up as i was going along, so i did it and odd way and had them on top.

Gawd it hard work for a lazy person.  Here is the roof sort of on, well the beams in (that's a hundred quids worth of wood!) I then put "noggins" (short bits in between the long bits) in which firmed it up to a surprising extent. Then i nailed most of four sheets of Mason board over it. (almost another hundred quid!) I made up frames to match the windows i had... well in theory anyway they were exactly the size of the windows.

The shed

My poor wooden shed has been set alight and blown up far to many times and the floor is far too bouncy.Anything i drop is lost for ever! So i had a bit of a rush of cash (£500) and thought why not build a shed that is rather more non-flammable.Plus i can build in a forge. I mean look at the poor thing, sagging and old like i am now, but we can rebuild it make it stronger and better!.

It all has to come down! And al the junk has to come out and be stacked up under a plastic sheet. Ooops though the wall behind it is crumbling mix of granite and mud and in parts i can see through it. So keen and wanting to do the right thing i was forced to find out what i needed was lime mortar which lets it breath and isn't too hard for the mud so it wont crack. That's the Theory anyway. I was forced to go to Bodmin to the very nice people at the Cornish Lime company ( who take it all very seriously and advised me all sorts of things which i fairly instantly forgot. So i followed the national trust advice and did a one part lime one part cement and three parts sand mix and bought myself a groovy "pointing trowel"  Which was wholey useless as i ended up throwing the mortar at the wall to get it in the gaps! This is it half done.  And after a lot of digging the other pic is off the footings filled with hardcore and ready to get cement in them....i shifted tons of earth and discovered next doors sewer pipe (lucky without smashing it).

As of today that's the state of play ,no shed,but a big area of mud. Today i ordered 9 bags of cement and 18 bags of sharp sand and even managed to look like i knew what i was doing in the Builders merchant (at least they were to polite to laugh at my amateur efforts at appearing knowledgeable)  They get delivered tomorrow. All i have to do is wait in ,stop the buses and all the traffic in the main street and carry them through the house!