Last week we embarked on two Wild Days Out with a difference, exploring autumn and the changing seasons through alchemy and art. In particular, we had a go at smelting pewter with the older children and wax with the younger ones, pouring the molten metal and wax into molds made out play-doh which we had pressed natural finds such as acorns, sycamore seeds and pine cones in to. The results were fantastic!
On both days we began with a forage in search of natural treasures, gathering up firewood on the way.
We found time to pop into Ivy North Hide and Harry made a note of all the birds we were spotting in the hide diary.
After collecting lots of different seeds and leaves, we headed into willow wood and laid the fire. We used play-doh to make a mold of our natural finds then sat it on the edge of the fire surround. Once the pewter shot had melted we carefully poured it over the mold then left it to cool before popping it out of the mould and into a bucket of water to finish cooling off and be cleaned of any last play-doh residue.
The pewter creations, once wiped clean looked fantastic and the children were all thrilled with the results. The acorns in their cups and pine cones worked particularly well:
With the younger children, we swapped the pewter for wax, melting it in a pan over the fire before decanting it using the spoons into their molds:
Wax objects cooling off in thir play-doh molds
The wax objects came out just as well, but the play-doh was a bit harder to peel off from the blackberries and pine cones!
Wax pine cone and blackberry, needing a little more cleaning to remove the play-doh…
Whilst we out experimenting, we did some leaf bashing, Toby made a rush boat, went in search of minibeasts and generally embraced just how muddy the clay pit and the area in general had become…
We had two great days, I’m not sure who enjoyed experimenting with pewter and wax the most, us or them, but they were all very happy with their creations and keen to make more! We will definitely do it again…