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White metal (spelter) and pewter casting scupltures


#1

I was looking at art deco sculpture photos and came across some
really neat Irenee Rochard’s beauties. I read the descriptions and
many of them are cast in white metal being described as spelter. What
exactly did they cast these in? Some descriptions say it has zinc
others just say it’s basic pewter.

I am curious because I would like to cast some of my own small
scultpures and would like to know of other choices than just silicon
bronze.

If I understand correctly, a real pewter, if that’s what all of
these Irenee Rochard sculptures seem to be, is made of at least 94%
tin.

That’s interesting that back in the 1930’s or 20’s using pewter was
perhaps cheaper than bronze? Because today, isn’t finding pure tin
very difficult to create alloys for casting large pieces of pewter
with? Silicon is much easier to buy I think to make your own silicon
bronze, plus you only need a little of silicon and mostly copper for
the bronze.

But with pewter, you need a boat load of pure tin. which I thought
is near impossible for someone to purchase to make a bunch of pewter.
At least, this is what I gather from reading many of the home foundry
forums.

So do I understand correctly that tin used to be easier to buy for
making pewter, plus with the lower melting point, it was used for
mass producing sculptures, but today, for the home foundry artist,
the lower melting point of pewter is not a good enough incentive for
the high price and impossibility of a near pure tin casting alloy?

Rick


#2

So I don’t know of the availability of tin but pewter is very easy
to melt (like lead). It is mostly tin, maybe you can find old place
sets or tea pots at thrift shops. Lots of things were made of pewter.
Bronze and brass take a much higher heat to cast so what if you
experimented with the most easily recycled and abundant metals around
you with a low melting point.

You might be drinking a soda or beer or of it today sometime,
Aluminum


#3

ROTO Metals in San Francisco CA has all sorts of different
tin/pewter alloys.

john dach