Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sooo cold here today!!!....

Have to haul out the quilts again!!

How many of the above qualities do we all have in our lives that we can hold onto?

Here's hoping you will have a warm weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mom Joyce ....

My mom, daughter and I spent a few hours on Tuesday morning with a group of special friends at Tiki's house. You see, Tiki's mom decided she was too young for the old age home she was staying in and wanted to be on her own again and fend for herself!! A very brave decision. I also call her mom because she accepted me so lovingly with open arms right from the start. We missed Petro Nel as she was tied up with her work but I believe she popped in later on. Elise (Tiki's sister), Florence, Margaret, Hayla, Cheney, my mom Florence and I attended.....and of course... the gracious hostess... Tiki.

Mom Joyce just loved all the gifts and surprises and it was the 'best' to see her delight and enjoyment as she unwrapped all her gifts.

Florence (mom Joyce's sister),  Margaret & my mom Florence

Always the gracious hostess Tiki

Lovely Hayla - Tiki's school friend helping mom Joyce

Mom Joyce & Cheney

3x generations - myself, Cheney and my mom.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mom's Showcase......

I just love my mom's showcase!! So decided to share her collection of Royal Albert and other pieces!


Sunday, August 25, 2013


One of the earlier quilts I made. I subsequently donated it to my kids' school for a raffle to raise money for hungry children in Somalia. That happened to be my daughter's idea. I believe the school raised quite a large sum of money! So, that gives me a warm , happy feeling! This is one of Tiki Brophy's designs. You can follow her on her delightful blog :
Think I should make another one soon.
Have a beautiful week!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

                        Parys Foundry....

Finally I can share my amazing experience at Parys Foundry with you!!      At last!.....

I travelled the distance yesterday to the quaint little town of Parys with mom, while I was feeling quite ill, but had to sort out the bath colour and collect the feet that were cast for Deon and I, as well. I then sat with  manager Pieter and owner Andre' at the foundry and picked their super-clever  brains for the whole 'smelting'process. I HAD to get it right as I don't want to give you the wrong info.

Andre' informed me that they use a lot of scrap metals which means that they are 'kind' to the environment and do a lot of recycling. Everything is electrically operated via an induction furnace which leaves no smoke pollution! So they are environmentally friendly and to a large extent...'green'. That just makes it even more special and to think that this important type of business / service is found in a small town which is quite a distance from Johannesburg; is just awesome! I mentioned a few posts ago (on my blog),  that I had struggled on numerous occassions, to get through to people in Johannesburg who could offer me the service I needed, but nobody made the effort to get back to me. So I found helpful, polite and professional people in a small town who have made it all the worthwhile for me. Thanks again to all of them!

So, welcome to.....

 I only needed 1x foot to be made for the old cast iron rolltop bath we have. So Corrie patiently searched through their collection of feet they have as samples. This is one of the many types of moulds they do there at the foundry. I never realised that there were so many designs for bath feet! Did you?

Finally we found what we needed! Can't wait to see the end result!

A section of the workshop. Neat, clean and very tidy for a workshop. The general atmosphere is also  pleasant and welcoming. Everybody seems to know what they have to do.

Tian Roodt - Pieter's son - managed to fix my broken chair. No problem for this lovely and inspiring young man. Ready to follow in his dad's footsteps. A son any father can be proud of!

Thankyou Tian!

Now onto the actual process : ....

To start ;.... moulding sand is mixed with sodium silicate or water glass. 

The sand is then placed into patterns and hardened by injecting carbon dioxide. This combines the sand particles and forms the pattern or shape.

Mould dressing is painted onto the moulds and then burnt to leave the paint coating on the sand. This dries out all the moisture and prevents any seepage during the pouring process.

The moulds are closed tightly and weights are stacked onto the top to weigh them down and secure the mould. There are also other ways of securing the top to the bottom of the mould but here they have used weights.

In the pic below, one can see the weights (the dark structures placed on top of one another) holding down the tops of the moulds.

Once the furnace is ready, the temperature is taken and if correct, the metal pieces are thrown in and then poured out into the casting ladle.

Pieter Roodt checking to see if all is okay. Temperatures vary from about 1400 - 1630 degrees C, depending on the type of metal being used.

This is what the thermometer gauge looks like and just how hot that furnace can get!

The top of the melting furnace.

The furnace operator is well protected!

The operator constantly feeds in pieces of metal.

Reminds me of the top of a bubbling volcano. It's sooo HOT up there! I was fortunate to climb up there but couldn't get too close. Thank heavens for zoom lenses!!

Once the melting process has taken place, the molten metal is poured into the casting ladle from which it is cast into the moulds and cooled off.

.....pouring into the casting moulds.

.....and then left to cool off.

The sand is then chipped off the moulds.

 After castings are cooled off, they are taken out and "runners" and "risers" are removed with angle grinders. The sharp edges are grinded / polished off.

Abe is grinding a bricket wheel that's used for charcoal production.

 Materials are then placed ready for delivery.

Andre' proudly informed me that they have produced work for a company in Russia and also other African countries. WOW!!!! They do us proud!

Well, sadly that's the end of my amazingly educational experience at Parys Gietery / Foundry!!
I hope that you have enjoyed this trip with me. I met wonderful people who are friendly, helpful and accommodating! They bend over backwards for you and nothing is too much trouble for them; from Susan in the office to the staff in the foundry. I loved every minute of my tour and am thrilled with the photographs that I took! Please drop me a line and tell me what you think. I would love to hear from you. Thankyou.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Good Morning Well, I know I mentioned that I was going to go off to Parys again today, but I've been struggling with a touch of the 'flu virus. I just don't see chance to drive all that way, take photos and enjoy the day with my mom. So, if all goes well and I feel on top of the world tomorrow, then we will head off to Parys. Have to stop over at Parys Foundry, Parys re-enamelers, Deon and Bradley. I am very keen on posting the beautiful pics I took at the Foundry and melting process - with kind permission. Here's another sneek preview.

The process of smelting is so interesting. Just wait and see.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Another day has begun.

I enjoy posting on my blog early in the morning while my youngest - Rohan- prepares for school. The house is quiet and I can 'think' without any interruption. One cannot believe how much thought it takes to post something worthwhile, so I can understand why so many people do not post every day. We don't always have lots to say. I think that since I am a photographer and while I have so many photographs at hand, I may still have something to say. I usually take my camera with me wherever I go, which does help a lot.

After we dropped my son and Laura off at the airport on Friday afternoon, we spent some time with my mom in Benoni. I was amazed at how beautiful her garden is.

My mom and Watson, her Malawian assistant who has been helping her for over 10 years! He has helped her with digging, painting, scraping plaster and basic building chores. He has been quite a reliable and trustworthy support to her all these years. It's really refreshing to see the pride on his face when you compliment him on his work.