Teaching casting methods – cuttlefish and delft clay

I’ve just completed  two 1:1 sessions showing how I cast using delft clay and cuttlefish.  This was spread over two sessions doing delft clay first, though with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better to do cuttlefish first.  Prepaing a cuttlefish mould is easier which gives more time to introduce the actual melting and pouring part.

We followed the same format as the basic class  – I do a stage, the student does their stage and so on.

My delft clay castings are on the left and the student’s on the right.  The bee is a little bigger than the ammonites.

I haven’t finished cleaing up my cuttlefish castings, but I will post them soon.

‘I had the pleasure of 2 casting lessons with John, delft clay and cuttlefish. I had the best learning experience. Prior to lesson John advised me on equipment etc so I could set up at home.

Hands on, informative and very inspiring. In 4 hours Johns vast knowledge and experience had taught me enough to go home and recreate, which I have been,non stop!
Thank you’

Silver panther keyring

SIlver panther keyring keyfob
SIlver panther keyring

Not much else to say – a commission.  Thick silver sheet for durability. The panther is about 5cm toe to tail.

Chinese ideogram ingots

A set of three ingots with ideograms engraved – health, happiness and success.

Health, happiness and success silver ingots
Happiness, health and success silver ingots

They were required for a special birthday early in 2018.  To avoid stress, the engraving was done in 2017 (not by me!) and the assay done in 2018 so that the date letter was correct.  However a normal stamped hallmark could damage the ideograms so they were laser hallmarked.

2018 date letters on each ingo
2018 date letters on each ingot

They have extra depth to ensure longevity.

Thank you so much for the beautifully finished necklaces I commissioned from you.  You took time to understand what I was asking for and suggested how this could be created.  The necklaces are wonderful.  I am really finding it hard to find a description that does them justice.  Thank you.


Gold twisted wire ring and gold hoop earrings

I’m ocasionally asked whether I work in gold.  The answer is yes – but only on request.  Here are two recent examples.  The earrings are about 20mm in diameter.  The ring was made to complement a similar silver ring.

Teaching sessions in my workshop

Today, I ran a day course for two friends who wanted to learn the basics of working with silver.

In the morning I went through the stages of making a silver ring – we made one each.  In the afternoon, the two friends made motifs to go on a bracelet.  We made up the design over lunchtime and implemented it in the afternoon.

They experienced soldering, using the piercing saw, doming, and polishing and learnt about the metal, assay and various other tools and techniques.

Silver RIng and star motifs by students
RIng and star motifs

Silver hazelnut keyring

Such an obvious omission from my range.  This was a request, but it will be in my shop shortly after I have cast some more hazelnuts.

Silver hazelnut keyring  keyfob
Silver hazelnut keyring

Simple silver Yantra design

I understand this design is a very much simplified form of a thai tiger tattoo.  It has a certain pleasing symmetry and simplicity.

Silver yantra
Silver yantra pendant

The client and I discussed various permutations after I made a few copper test pieces – adding gemstones in the loops or having the shape on a backing sheet forming a further geometric shape, but we decided embellishments would  not complement the basic shape.

I plan to make some more pendants in this style.

Uffington White Horse pendants – different style

Silver Uffington White Horses on a green background
Silver Uffington White Horses

The White Horses in this variant are the same size as the earlier pendant, but in this commission they were requested to be on a green background.  Each horse is in a silver oval with the edge about the same height as the horse.  The green, low temperature enamel provides the required colour, but only as a relatively thin layer so that the horse stands proud of the enamel –  a reversal of the real thing where the white chalk layer is slightly below ground level (if I remember correctly).  These pendants are Christmas gifts from a mother to three daughters.  As ever when I make multiples, as each was hand cut separately, they have minor differences.

I shall be featuring White Horse pendants and brooches at Artweeks in 2018.