Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cob irons and more clay stuff

In an effort to avoid working on the bake ovens, I decided to work on the main roasting fireplace :)  Yesterday I cut some 3/8" plywood to the correct shape for the cob iron supports.  (Cob irons hold the spit at different heights from the fire to help control the roasting of meat. ) 

 Here's a photo showing a huge fireplace with cob irons at Hampton Court:

The cob irons for my little fireplace are about 4 inches high and 1 3/4 inches deep, angled from front bottom to back top.  Again, I took all this from Brian Long's Tudor book. 

These are the plywood forms in place.  The spaces to the outside of each cob iron will be for the wood stores.

Then I rolled out some grey polymer clay (see, I'm getting smarter -- grey means I won't have to paint them grey for grout!) for the brick impress.  Again, learning from my mistakes, I made the clay sheets thicker, this time :)  I cut them out to the shape of the supports.

Then I impressed the clay with the molds I bought from Malcolm's Miniatures.  Again, I used the Tudor brick.

The thicker clay took the impress so much better, as you can see.  Then I baked and painted them and trimmed the clay appliques to more precise size (using the impress molds, of course, distorts the size a wee bit).

And here's what they looked like this morning:

I also made a few bits and bobs last night while we were watching dvds --  mostly knives, another pheasant (this time designed to drape over the chopping block) and an "iron" hanging rack for all the game storage.

I'll be back to do the draw for the books a little later :)


  1. I love your "iron" stuff:) The brick walls look great. Maybe you should do one more pheasant - this time alive and runnig away from this store room ;)

  2. I think you got a good result, as always. I also love your pheasants: you made it yourself? In them is summed up the essence of the kitchen.
    A hug,

  3. Sus obras son fantásticas.
    Un abrazo Carmen.

  4. There should definitely be one more pheasant, OM! Possibly being chased by a cat ... :)

    Grazie, Flora. I agree, there's something about the hanging game that gets to the heart of a kitchen of this period. Maybe it's all the artwork of the late Renaissance -- all those still life paintings with dead animals :)

    Gracias, Dora! Un abrazo Nina!

  5. That stamp is a wonderful thing isn't it?
    I would have to cut out the bricks individual but I quite like doing that anyway!
    Pheasants are great as are those tools you have made I luv that clay!!!

  6. I do find it useful, Deni, but I also, like you, enjoy putting things together one at a time :)

    Polymer clay is amazing. I never used to understand what the fuss was about. I do, now!

  7. Nina, your speed is making my head spin! lol. You really are getting very good with dead birds, love the one on the stool. The rack works better too than hanging those 2 with blue chord. Now for some blood stains and better still, dripping :). Those metal tools are very nice repro. Great tips on how to make those brickwalls too :). Now that more objects are in the fireplace, the little flaws are all masked, don't you think?

    The 1st pic, is it a miniature scene? The fire look so real. I want to know how to create that if it is!

  8. Yeah, Sans -- I'm totally thinking "blood on the chopping block", here :)

    And the more stuff I put in the fireplace, the more my mistakes are covered up, for sure! Wait'll I put in the soot and filth -- all will be concealed! Mwah hah hah!

    The first pic is not a miniature scene -- but I agree with you -- finding a way to reproduce that fire would be awesome!

  9. Goodness me your speed is making my head spin as well lol.

    It is looking great...the pheasants look just right there.

    What do you think of the brick impress molds...I keep looking at them and wondering weather to buy some. Seems they'd make the job much quicker.

    That first pic reminds me of the medieval banquets we used to go to at Warwick Castle.

  10. Tallulah, I LOVE the impress molds. They've been worth every penny they cost, and I haven't regretted buying them for a moment.

  11. Hmm perhaps I need to invest in some then. Actually perhaps I'd better build my church first lol.

  12. "Here's a photo showing a huge fireplace with cob irons at Hampton Court:"

    Good point! I know someone who works in the Hampton Court kitchens - I must remember to check details with him when (if!) I get around to starting the kitchen in my castle.

    Love your castle blog, BTW, someone just sent me the link to it today as I'm startign my own castle (from a kit).


  13. Ah, that would be me :)

    The pheasants look brilliant. Brian Long has some great books. I've found the Georgian one very useful.


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