May 2014

And our craft room studio is nearly finished!

So our craft room studio in our basement is almost finished! For 5 years we have been trying to finish our walkout basement. Itβ€˜s been a long, long road for various reasons, but at last we think the end is in sight. Al painted the craft room floor again yesterday, finished wiring in the potlights today, and placed the last ceiling tiles. It looks great πŸ™‚  All we need now are the cabinets and workbench and we can move in! This is where we will do our pewterwork, except for the actual pouring of molten metal, which can be rather messy. The pouring will still be done in our garage, plus any sanding that’s required, and my anvil will remain there because it is just too heavy! Hopefully there will be heat in our garage this winter. I did some hammering of our pewter this past winter at -30C and it was rather chilly! This was when I  created our “Hammered Heart” which is now in Bay 12 Gallery, Pigeon Lake, AB.
Addendum: I’ve since heard that our Hammered Heart in the photo has been sold by the gallery – yay! I will need to get hitting my anvil again and make some more…

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Pewter "Hammered Heart"

Louise
– from sunny Alberta πŸ™‚

“Baby’s Footprints” and “Best Friend” pawprint bowls

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Best Friend pewter bowl

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Baby's Footprints pewter bowl

These two designs are particularly special to us. To make the footprints and pawprint, we had to create metal feet that would leave such an impression in the metal while it was still molten. I made the pawprint by making a model of our own dog Glayva’s front paw, not by casting it but by just examining them while she snoozed on her bed, which she does quite a lot. I had to significantly reduce the size though, as she is a black Labrador. We named this bowl “Best Friend”.
The “Baby’s Footprints” bowl was designed by me looking at prints I had taken of our little daughter’s footprints when she was ten weeks old. We had to recreate the little feet that would have left the paint footprints that we had. Again I had to significantly reduce them in size when creating the pattern.
From these patterns, silicone moulds were made by Al, and metal paw and pair of baby’s feet were created from those moulds.
We also have a hanging decoration of the baby’s footprints, hanging from baby pink or baby blue ribbon, which people have purchased for new baby gifts or Christmas tree decorations. I will have to make some with pawprints too, for those people with furbabies…

What would you do with one of our bowls?

This is a question we sometimes get asked when we are at a show selling our pewter. Here’s a few suggestions, mostly ways we use them, or how we know other people use them…

Decoration – our bowls are lovely to just look at. We know of many people who use them purely decoratively, either on a flat surface to enhance a coffee table for example, or displayed on a plate stand.
I put my Easter crafts in one of our extra large platters this year and they looked great together. The pewter metal and the colourful eggs really complimented each other. At Christmas shows coming up later this year, we plan to display platters with Christmas baubles in them. Another thing that would look great is coloured glass pebbles or polished stones. We wouldn’t recommend potpourri though as oils may spoil the finish of the metal.

Receptacle – I have a pewter bowl in our bathroom and put my jewellery in it when I have my shower, so its handy to put on again afterwards. I have one in our other bathroom and drop our little daughter’s hair clips and baubles in it when she goes for her bath. One of our custom bowls was a gift for a husband to throw his loose change in at night.

Serving bowl – although our pewter is completely lead-free and food safe, we only recommend putting dry, wrapped foods in our bowls, such as sweets and candies. Wet, oily foods may affect the finish, and may also be difficult to wash off.

Tealight holder – on our first day at our first art show selling our pewter at the Reynolds museum last year, someone said our bowls would look great with a tealight in them. We went home and tried it, and she was right. The next day we took some along for our display. We would recommend only tealights in a plastic or foil cup be used, as wax would be difficult to get out of our pewter and would spoil it. Any direct heat may damage it too, due to pewter’s relatively low melting point.