If you’re interested in watching a demonstration of cuttlefish casting, I’ll be providing plenty of opportunities for you to see the fun and learn about the technique at this years Lost Trades Fair in Kyneton on the Labour Day weekend, 10th & 11th March 2018.
Expect to fill all your senses during a demonstration of the technique – there’s the smell of the burning cuttlefish bone, the heat of the gas, the noise of the torch, and the excitement of watching as the silver becomes molten and is carefully poured into the cuttlefish bone mould.
I’ll be demonstrating the carving and casting across both days, I’ll also have an exhibition of recent work available for sale, please come and say hi.
For more information on the Lost Trades Fair please click on the following link http://www.losttrades.info there you’ll also be able to purchase your tickets in advance, save 20% and avoid any long drawn out queues to get in.
I’ve always loved watching molten metal or solder as it flows to join precious metal. That glistening, shiney, silver colour of liquid as you pour it into your cast. This photo was taken as I poured molten silver into a cuttlefish cast that I had prepared. I just love this photo that captured the moment so well, the photo is by Yanni Dellaportas.
I’ve just purchased a new tough camera to handle the cold, wet and varying weather conditions the Yukon River will deliver. I will be documenting my journey on the River of Gold and look forward to sharing it with you in an exhibition and several public talks.
You can make a very valuable contribution to my journey by making a tax deductible donation to my fundraising campaign ‘Australia to the Arctic’ with the Australian Cultural Fund. All the money raised will be given to me as an arts grant. The grant will be acquitted according to my budget to assist with the direct costs of the residency. Donations close on the 25 July 2017. Please follow this link to make your donation https://australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/australia-to-the-arctic/
Busy with last minute preparations for ‘Refined’, my exhibition of contemporary jewellery opening on the 2nd January 2016. See you at Antipodes Bookshop Gallery (in the downstairs gallery) in Sorrento after 2pm on Saturday!
I’m hosting another Open Studio over the next two weekends and you’re all welcome to visit. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy my stunning contemporary jewellery in the beautiful surrounds of my McCrae studio and garden. You may choose to witness the fiery cuttlefish casting demonstrations that will be occurring on the weekends, or do some early Christmas shopping. I’m opening my studio as part of the Peninsula Studio Trail open studio weekends.
Please feel welcome to drop in and see my recent contemporary rings and pendants that I am preparing for my next solo show, opening at Antipodes Bookshop Gallery in Sorrento on the 2 January 2016; and not forgetting my colourful lamp worked glass bead jewellery.
I will be demonstrating cuttlefish casting on Sunday afternoons, if you’re interested in attending a demonstration please send me an email and I’ll let you know what times are available.
For a map of the 19 artists participating in this years open studios please click here to download your copy, or visit http://peninsulastudiotrail.org for more information.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me seven cuttlefish, six silver pendants, five silver rings, four cascading jewels, three work benches, two topaz earrings and Katrina Newman’s jewellery.
As promised, at last weeks Open Studio I demonstrated the art of cuttlefish casting. One visitor came to both demonstrations and others travelled from as far as Seddon and Hawthorn, spurred on by my interview with Hilary Harper on her breakfast program 774 ABC Local Radio. Thanks Hilary!
Ronni who has provided some of the photos you see in the slide show said “I am in awe of your talent to use cuttlefish as a template for your craft. I am just amazed!!! I think it is quite beautiful.” Thanks to you too Ronni!
Click on any image above for a large picture slide show that shows each stage of the casting process from carving the cuttlefish to pouring the molten silver. I’m dressed in a white duffel coat with leather gloves and a leather apron, the plastic head shield protects my face from the heat. By the end of the casting I could be heard saying “excuse me, I’m just going to strip off” and removed most of what you can see in the picture so I could quickly cool down.
The molten silver glistens brightly in the crucible as I move carefully not to spill any, though in my second cast there were a few droplets that tumbled into the pumice below. You can also see the crucible holder is glowing bright red from the heat. The pumice that holds the cuttlefish in place, has also been collected from beaches, on my many trips to the beautiful coastal regions of southern NSW.
I look forward to cleaning the casts and adding a step by step guide so that you can have a better understanding of the effort involved in making my beautiful works of art.
Expect to fill your senses with the touch of cuttlefish, the smell of gas, the heat, and the noise of the torch. After a simple cast I can be soaking in perspiration despite wearing protective clothing including leather gloves and a leather apron made for me by a friend who witnessed the casting and immediately came to the rescue with the protective apron.
it really is very simple technique… I start by cutting the cuttlefish in half, then I carve out a basic design, join the two cuttlefish halves together with binding wire, before heating the silver in a crucible and pouring it gently into the cast.
It’s adrenalin pumping the process of filing your cuttlefish mould. There’s the noise of the gas torch that is almost like a jet engine, the sweat that pours from my body, as it can take quite awhile to melt the silver or gold, and the moment when your nervously holding the crucible of molten metal and pouring it carefully into your cuttlefish. I admit there have been a few misses, and with an audience on Sunday my hands are more likely to tremble than ever before.”
The result is a very rough cast. At this stage I take the piece to my studio bench and spend many hours cutting back the very rough finish. I start with files and then move on to various grades of emery paper. The last stage is polishing with a tripoli and then a rouge compound to produce the final stunning quality works of art, that you see for sale in my Etsy shop and in my studio on the weekend.
My rings and pendants demonstrate a very modern approach to an ancient technique, representing both a primitive and personal response to the environment. It is no coincidence that these pieces are representative of the sea and its sands and objects that can be found on its shores.
The Peninsula Studio Trail of which I a member and recently elected President was established in 2009 as an artist’s initiative. It is a diverse and gifted group of 25 artists specializing in a range of mediums including ceramics, painting and printmaking, photography, gold and silversmithing and glass art. Many of the artists are happy to show the techniques they use that make their art so special over the weekend. Artist’s studios are open from 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday 1st & 2nd March. See http://www.peninsulastudiotrail.org for more information on the artists that are participating this weekend.
My studio is located at 69 Cinerama Crescent McCrae and will be open from 10 – 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday.