Various Cast Pieces


    Here are a few pictures of various cast item done in two-piece clay moulds.

    Anglo-Saxon bird brooch, 6th century, 32mm, copper alloy. The wooden model is on the left. To the right is one of the many mis-cast attempts on this piece. I finally learned to put the sprue in the middle of the beak (to the left) so that the leg fills properly.Orginal piece to the right.

    Cloisonne Brooch 10thC


    The base of this silver brooch was cast in a two piece clay mould from the copper model at the top (a freshly cast base is on shown by a complete one). It came out with surprisingly little to no flashing, making it much more feasible to cast several than to file and cut them out individually from sheet. Eventually it will be filled with enamel like the orginal on the right.

    Ardagh Chalace Silver Grille


    A discussion on the Ardagh Challace construction on one of the medieval metalworkers lists led me to wonder if those tiny silver grilles with the step patterns could be cast instead of cut from sheet. I made a model in bone and tried a 2 piece clay mould. This first attempt (shown) was OK, nothing stupendous, but it was too chunky. I paired down the model (shown) but have not cast it a second time (the mould is ready waiting for spring to come again).

    While a bit rough, I think this first attempt shows that it may be feasible to do repeated casting of grilles this small in a 2 piece mould, especially with a finer mould material.