This Guy's Day At The Beach Includes Sand, Sun ... And Metallurgy
Jul 22, 2015
Pewter is an alloy made up of roughly 85-99 percent tin combined with copper, antimony, bismuth and lead. Lead is used in pewter far less often today than it was historically, and only for things that won't have direct human contact. Pewter was first around the start of the Bronze Age, and the earliest recovered piece of pewter dates back to 1450 B.C. in Egypt. Due to its low melting point (338 - 446 °F or 170 - 230 °C), it was relatively easy to manufacture and was highly popular for all sorts of uses from decoration to tableware, especially in Medieval Europe.
Here we see artist Max Lamb returning to his favorite childhood beach in Cornwall, U.K. to use the beach sand to help him cast a beautifully designed hexagonal pewter stool. He carves the design carefully into the sand while he gets the metal molten hot. Since pewter can be melted on the average stovetop, it doesn't take a lot of specialized equipment. Eventually, he's ready to pour the metal - first into the deep holes he bored into the sand as the legs, and then around the hexagon for the actual seat.
(Don't worry, your speakers aren't broken - there's no sound in this video!)