Introduction to pewter casting
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
Course Code: VU114
Duration: 5 sessions
What is the course about?
Explore and experiment with new sculpture techniques by making a sculpture from wax to cast in pewter. Pewter is a soft metal, so it is easy to cut and hammer. It can be cast in parts and easily welded together with a soldering iron. It polishes well to a silvery mirror finish. Traditionally pewter was used for cups and plates, but it can also be used to cast sculptures and is very good for making thin intricate work. Pewter has a low melting point (around 200 degrees) which means it can easily be melted on a gas cooking ring. You can cast your own work without having to use or set up a big metal casting foundry.
What will we cover?
Day one and two - Make a series of wax models and select the best one or two to cast.
Day three - Prepare the wax models for casting by adding 'runners' and 'risers', which are essential for getting the metal into the cast and releasing trapped gases from the cast. Make a plaster and grog investment mould around the wax model.
Day four - After the wax has been melted out over night from the mould, prepare and cast the pewter, then chip out from the mould.
Day five - Clean the mould up with chasing and rifling. Finish the artwork by experimenting with polishes and chemical patination to alter the pewter surface.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Make a series of wax models.
- Prepare a wax model for casting.
- Cast pewter from your own mould.
- Finish the artwork by experimenting with polishes and chemical patination to alter the pewter surface.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Open to all levels, including beginners.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught by demonstrations to the group, and individual advice given by the tutor.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Students will be using approximately 1 kg of pewter each which is enough to make an artwork which can fit inside the dimensions of a coffee cup. Finished artwork will be weighed and charged at the end of the course at £35/kilo.
Participants are encouraged to bring along ideas, reference materials and sketch books so they can have fun experimenting with the possibilities of wax modelling.
You must wear stout footwear during the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The City Lit sculpture department offers a wide selection of courses that will allow you to progress from beginner to advanced and master a range of techniques and materials. After this course you may wish to join a course specialising in another material or technique you have tried or something completely new. We offer a wide range of exciting sculpture courses in everything from figurative clay modelling, metalwork, stone and wood carving, mould making, casting in concrete, Jesmonite and much more. Alternatively, you may wish to progress onto the year-long City Lit Sculpture course which helps you to build your own individual sculpture practice and culminates with an exhibition in a London gallery.
You can ask your tutor for advice, browse the City Lit website or prospectus for inspiration, or please contact our Visual Arts team by calling 020 7492 2700 Monday - Friday between 10am - 5pm, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.