Blind baker turns pewter-smith

Alongside cooking, pewter is one of my passions.  Throughout the first leg of my Baking Blind world tour (https://youtu.be/peNM8VqWjgE), I gave special hand-made “medals” to everyone who cooked with me.  I tried to capture my trademark stripey apron with a pocketful of kitchen utensils in the original model.  Once I’d created the rubber mould, molten pewter was poured in.  It took hours of filing, trimming and finishing before each medal could be polished and struck with my personal mark.  There are just 41 in the whole world.

I’m lucky enough to be helped by outstanding pewter Master Craftswoman Fleur (http://www.fleurgrenier.co.uk/) in her workshop in Angmering.  Not only does she create amazing works of art but she shares her skills with beginners like me.

For this Christmas, I wanted to make a trio of seasonal little bowls for nibbles: each flat disc was repeatedly etched with images of snowflakes, holly or mistletoe before I beat them in to shape. And I managed to complete the second of my dragon bowls.

Fleur wisely doesn’t let me near the molten metal or the electrically charged etching tank but, otherwise, I can do nearly everything else myself.  It is all a matter of touch so not being able to see matters less.

This week’s video is a record of the key moments in San Francisco, Costa rica and Virginia Beach – my travels had taken me to both south and North America with China, Australia and Africa next.

Penny

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Christmas cake decorations in pewter

What do you think:

  • Pewter decorations add a personal touch?
  • Crackers?
  • See what I’ve made?

 I promised myself to make a set of cake decorations for Christmas 2015 but life and time got in the way.  But, this year, I’ve managed to make a whole series: piles of wrapped presents, candles and crackers.

None of it is difficult if you have someone with a vat of molten pewter.  All I need to do is make the original patterns and then shape a mould using a rubbery material inside a wall of Lego.  Master Pewtersmith Fleur is then in charge of pewter pouring after which I file off the excess ready for polishing.

Now that pewter doesn’t contain lead, it is safe for use with food – after a hot soapy wash.

Fleur is more adventurous with her Christmas pewter work: a collectable series of tree decorations featuring Six geese a-laying this year, her fabulous bunch of mistletoe, this delicate star and lots more.

For details of Fleur’s work creations and day workshops, visit:

Fleur Grenier, Pewtersmith / Glass Artist, Mettle Studios, Roundstone Bypass, Angmering, West Sussex, BN16 4 BD

design@fleurgrenier.co.uk

Twitter: @fleurgrenier https://twitter.com/fleurgrenier

Facebook:  Fleur Grenier – Pewterware

https://www.facebook.com/Fleur-Grenier-Pewterware-114285671915331/?hc_ref=SEARCH

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

You Tube

Preparing to make the mould

Preparing to make the mould

Placing the pattern

Placing the pattern

Pewter being poured

Pewter being poured

Removing the pewter from the mould

Removing the pewter from the mould

After final polish

After final polish

pewter-star pewter-mistletoe-3 pewter-mistletoe-2 pewter-mistletoe-1 pewter-cake-decorations-1 pewter-cake-decorations-crackers pewter-cake-decorations-candles-and-presents