Sunday, 20 September 2015

Of cups and plate Pt 2

Fairlynch Museum Trustee Michael Downes, left, with David Williams holding the replica chalice. In the background is the copy by Budleigh Salterton Venture Art Club of Millais' famous painting 'The Boyhood of Raleigh.' The Museum displayed the original painting on two occasions in the past

David Williams, Managing Director of Birmingham-based  pewterers  takes us through the design and manufacturing process involved in Fairlynch Museum’s replica of the All Saints Church chalice designed by Exeter goldsmith John Jones in the 1570s.

“Our approach to producing this chalice makes for an interesting story itself,” says David. “But making it was not easy. Because of the value of the chalice, we could only work from measurements and photos and were not able to make a mould directly from it. The measurements of the original were taken by Fairlynch Museum Chairman, Trevor Waddington, who was also involved in the project.”


"We arranged for the lid to be sculpted from photographs that were provided of the original.

The Tudor rose, on top, is separate; it was sculpted in milliput, a modelling material. Milliput is in fact the trade name for a cold setting, non shrinking, two-part epoxy putty.

The base and stem were sculpted in the same way, in milliput, again just from photos of the original.

The base is separate, with the stem just placed on top. Once these components had been sculpted, we could make rubber moulds. These were used to cast the parts centrifugally.

Once the base, stem, lid and top had been cast, we made a nylon chuck - again from artwork - and used that as the former on which to spin the body. Since we were not allowed to create a mould from the original, the chuck was made from measurements and photos of the original chalice.

The engraving on the original chalice was repeated four times around the chalice and joined up to make a wide band."

The final photograph shows the chalice now soldered together and polished.

“We are extremely proud as a company to be able to reproduce such a beautiful 16th century piece in pewter,” said David. “It makes you realise, as a craftsman, that these people 500 years ago really were the guardians of the craft.”

This post follows on from

No comments:

Post a Comment