Pewter is often the choice of crafters because it is cheaper than other metals, such as gold or silver, and it has a lower melting point. The lower melting point makes it convenient because you can use a butane torch to melt it instead of more dangerous heat sources. Heated pewter can then be poured into prepared moulds to create anything from jewellery to doll house accessories to knick-knacks for display.
Create your pewter mould using clay. Mold the clay into your desired shape. Add plenty of detail. Or if you prefer, you can purchase a clay mould from a hobby shop.
Place your chosen mould into a disposable plastic storage container. The container should be at least 3 inches larger around than the size of your mould. This will help create an extra lip on your mould. Prepare the mould and the container by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to both. Use your fingers to coat both pieces. Do not make the petroleum jelly too thick or you will lose the details of your mould. You just want enough of a layer so that the mould will easily release from the pewter once it is set.
Prepare a package of Plaster of Paris following the directions on the package. Pour the Plaster of Paris over the top of your mould in the plastic dish. Tap the container lightly on a counter four or five times to remove air bubbles. Let it dry completely.
Remove your dried plaster from your clay mould. Use a paper towel or old rag to remove the petroleum jelly from the plaster. Place the mould on a baking tray.
Melt your pewter ingots. You can use a crucible or a cast iron pot to hold the pewter. Use a butane torch to heat the pewter, keeping the flame moving constantly. Continue with the flame until the pewter melts and any impurities are found floating on the top of the mixture. Remove the impurities from the surface using a steel spoon.
Use a heat-proof glove to pour the pewter from your crucible or pot into the plaster mould. Let the pewter cool completely. This generally takes one to two hours. Remove the cooled pewter from the mould.
- Always use extreme caution when working with butane torches and hot melted pewter. Wear heat-resistant gloves and eye protection.
- All implements, including the plastic storage container, baking tray and spoon, should not be used for food consumption after being used with the plaster and the pewter.