5 Tips To Keep Your Woodcarving Tools Sharp

Wood is a fantastic material to work with, and offers its own rewards separate from other materials like stone, clay, wax or plastics. However, when working with wood, it’s important to have the right set of carving tools. Here at Alec Tiranti we pride ourselves on providing some of the most high-quality woodcarving tools and woodcarving supplies in the UK.

One of the main tasks facing sculptors working with wood is keeping their woodcarving tools sharp. After all, a dull tool is only going to cause trouble, no matter whether it’s your straight chisels or your carvers’ adzes. For that reason, here are five tips to help you sharpen your woodcarving tools and get the best out of your carving equipment.

 

Sharpen before use

When you purchase a set of carving tools, you might think that your chisel or knife is ready to use straight away. However, tools like woodcarving knives are often only sharpened by factories to a ‘standard grade’. As a result, you will need to ‘finish sharpen’ your tool whenever you use it.

When first using any new woodcarving tools, make sure to give them a gentle rub with a stone or a strop to clean any imperfections. All you have to do then is keep them clean and oiled when you’re not using them, and give them a gentle sharpening before and during use.

Use a stone

One of the common ways of sharpening woodcarving tools is to use sharpening equipment like a bench or slip stone and honing oil.

Firstly, oil the stone and move the tool over the stone’s surface. You’ll need to position the tool so that the cutting edge sits evenly across the face of the stone. Then rub the tool over the stone in a ‘figure 8’ pattern.  Don’t forget to sharpen the backside of the tool to remove any roughness.

Follow it up by stropping

Once you’ve sharpened your woodcarving tool on your stone, you can then hone it by using a strop. Stropping is typically performed by those using a woodcarving knife or chisel to maintain the sharp edge of the tool and prolong its long term use.

A strop is usually made of leather which has a layer of carborundum dressing applied to it. Some people do this dry; others use oil and water. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.

To strop a tool, simply run it back and forth slowly and evenly each side against the strop on a flat and level surface. Don’t use short, sharp movements – this can damage your tool.

Don’t use another method…

It might be tempting to sharpen your woodcarving tools on a power tool like an angle grinder or bench grinder. Whatever you do, don’t do this! Simply put, this is highly likely to overheat the tip of the tool. This could make the metal of your tools soften or harden and fundamentally alter your tool’s character – really not ideal for your straight woodcarving tools.

But don’t be scared of heat treatment

All woodcarving tool steels are heat treated and need to be cared for. Sometimes it’s necessary to have a tool heat treated again from time to time to make sure it stays at its best.

Now that you know how to sharpen your woodcarving tools, why not give it a go? Here at Alec Tiranti we can supply our customers with Flexcut carving tools, woodcarving tool sets and more. Simply contact us today for more information and a member of our experienced team will be able to assist you.

Ceramics have been a popular, cultural artform throughout history and there are surviving pieces dating back as far as 10000 BC. Perhaps it is the ability to carefully hand craft an exact design by the sculptor, or the unique elements of each finished piece when it comes out of the furnace. It may be the variety of finishes one can achieve when applying different glaze effects. Here at Alec Tiranti, we have a wide range of pottery equipment, tools and accessories for the well-practiced exponents and beginners alike. Here, we will be taking a look at some of the different ceramic glazes and pieces of equipment we have on offer on our website, and how they can transform your work.

Pottery glazes

Choosing the right ceramic glaze can transform your ceramic pieces. Ceramic glazing is not only important for creating a colourful and textured finish, but it is also crucial to preserving and increasing the life length of your piece, waterproofing, colouring and finishing the final piece in the process.  Each glaze is unique, and it is up to you as the originator to choose what kind of ceramic finish you want to try and achieve.

There is always an element of circumspect experimentation required when mixing, applying and firing a ceramic glaze, indeed the finished piece doesn’t always produce the same result every time.

Spectrum products sold here at Alec Tiranti Ltd cover a broad range of glazes and finishes, from Underglazes, Low Fire Glazes, to Stoneware Glazes and the Metallic Glazes, Lustres and Crystals.

With a LF metallic glaze, for instance, you can achieve an iridescent metallic appearance to your final piece, but unlike lustres these colours fire in a standard pattern like an underglaze.  You may opt for a brushed bronze, wrought iron, or stunning moonlight finish to your piece; whatever your preference, the outcome is an impressive ceramic piece with the appearance of being forged from metal.

Alternatively, the Spectrum stoneware glazes can be applied along with Glaze Crystals, these react with the glaze during firing to give an attractive mottled finish within the standard glaze.

Lustres can be thinned and applied over a ready fired porcelain, glass or ceramic piece, these lustres are then re-fired at a lower temperature – the result is fine metallic finish in a variety of colours and effects.

Pottery tools and pottery equipment

Pottery tools are designed to facilitate the sculpting and creation process, and as such are a valuable part of any artist’s studio. From the most basic pottery tool sets to the specialist carving, modelling and finishing tools, Alec Tiranti Ltd. aim to provide you with all of the equipment needed for both the beginner and the experienced ceramicist.

Our range of pottery tools starts with a simple bow harp to cut the working piece of clay from a block of bulk, the wire will allow you to cut large pieces of clay with ease.

Hardwood Modelling Tools are designed to introduce shape and profile, altering the shape of these tools allows the modeller to refine shapes in the design of the finished piece.

We also offer specialist modelling tools in plastic and rubber Clay Shapers, to define intricate imagery such as fingernails, eye sockets, ultra-fine shapes and profiles too.

Metal clay tools are normally made in stainless steel, these are especially good for picking out ultra fine detail from partially fired pieces such as slip moulded cast clays. Metal tools are also good for “Sgraffito” work – this is a form of decoration on ceramics, pottery and plaster which involves carving, scratching and modelling a design into a semi finished piece prior to firing and glazing. Wire Modelling Tools allow the shape and profile to be changed and refined, these are especially good for profiling convex shapes.

Wooden Rib and Rubber Kidneys are useful sculpting tools, they can be used to smooth and set a shape into a piece during hand building or turning operations.

Specialist turning tools for sharper detail finishing work, Pallet Knives for adding clay to hand built models and smoothing profiles, Point Knives for cutting pouring holes and making detail accents.

For the more experienced potter we also offer a wide range of workshop and studio tools such as Potters Wheels for pottery throwing, Pugmills and Extruders for taking block clay and forming regular shaped working pieces of clay, Clay Rollers for forming flat sheets of clay, all the way up to Kilns and spray booths for clay firing and finishing works.

 

Get in touch

Should you require more information on our stock of equipment for your pottery craft, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our team has years of expertise in the sculpting industry and are always happy to offer help and advice by answering any remaining questions you may have. You can reach us by sending us an email at enquiries@tiranti.co.uk, or if you prefer to speak with someone directly, please give us a call on +44 (0)1635 587430.

When it comes to working with materials, having the right tools make an enormous difference. Not only can they make your work lighter and easier, but they can also greatly improve the quality and precision of your technique. Here at Alec Tiranti, we utilise our decades worth of experience in the sculpting and modelling industry to source the finest and highest quality tools on the market. Today, we will be taking a look at the variety of modelling tools we offer depending on the material at hand, how they can be of use to both professionals and beginners alike, and their merits over alternative options.

 

Wax modelling tools

Working with wax can be precarious work – too much heat will cause the wax to melt, and too little heat will keep the wax brittle and unmalleable. With an alcohol burner, you can easily control the level of heat applied to the wax, by heating up the modelling tool you are working with and making for an easier working method. The methylated spirit fuel burns with a clean flame, an essential when working with modelling wax. The stainless steel wax modelling tools are an excellent choice for this, as they easily conduct heat to warm up quickly without taking damage from the heat of the flame.

 

Clay modelling materials

Another popular choice of material our clients often work with is clay. Our website hosts some of the most popular modelling tools for working with clay, which are suitable for a number of different clay types. Our clay shapers allow you to make beautiful textures and marks in the clay, adding depth and bringing your sculptures to life. Alternatively, for the earlier stages of your model where you are just trying to remove that excess material, our combination modelling tools with their offset “B” loops will help you do so with ease.

 

Plaster modelling

For modelling with plaster, we stock many of the essentials for getting you started, as well as tools to help you master the art. For instance, our sets of plaster bandages will ensure you lay the proper foundational mould for your model. Once this has been set, the diverse array of plaster modelling tools will help you refine more intricately the finer details of your model. With Italian plaster spatulas, smaller plaster tools, and stainless-steel griffons, there is something for everyone’s individual needs here. We even supply tool boxes and suede tool rolls, if you need something to store your new tool collection in.

 

Get in touch

Should you have any remaining questions on our modelling materials, please do not hesitate to contact us. Operating in the industry since 1895, our team at Alec Tiranti will be happy to provide you with any further information you may need when deciding on the best tools for you. You can reach us by sending us an email at Enquiries@tiranti.co.uk, or if you prefer to speak with someone directly, please give us a call on 020 7380 0808.

 

 

Complete your set of tools with our extensive range of Mallets and Hammers

Here at Alec Tiranti, we specialise in the provision of high quality and reliable tools for use in stonemasonry, woodwork, and other professions or hobbies that require you to work closely with materials. Today, we will be taking a look at the range of mallets and hammers we have stocked on our website, the different purposes they can be used for, and their advantages over other alternative tools. This should offer you a better idea on the perfect tools to add to your toolbox, be you a beginner or an expert in your craft.

 

Bush hammers

Bush hammers – otherwise known as Bouchard hammers – are a type of machined steel headed hammers. Their bushing insert at either end allows you to place a replaceable insert, making for a versatile type of hammer. These are used most often for modelling large and flat surfaces, due to the reduced effort needed when using them to remove material, when compared to using a hammer and chisel for instance. While this is an advantage, bush hammers are not so suitable for stonemasonry that works with harder stone types.

Dummy mallets

Dummy mallets have heads made from drop forged steel; this means that globules of molten metal are dropped into a mould, which is then closed and pressed at a high pressure. The result is an extremely strong and tightly bound head that is highly resistant to fractures and occlusions. This makes them an excellent choice for stonemasonry, as they also ensure the metal being worked with is less likely to fracture.

Lump hammers

Alternatively, you may prefer to opt for a lump hammer. These are the simplest form of hammer head, aptly getting their name from the literal lump of metal that forms the head. Their force makes them ideal for roughing work and splitting tools, such as bolsters, feathers, and drills.

Nylon mallets

Nylon mallets are best used for stone carving, in use with a mallet headed chisel. The machined nylon head is pressed onto a hickory handle and held in place with a wedge, with hickory selected as an ideal type of wood for the handle. This is due to the fact that hickory wood has a close grain, making it free of knots and unlikely to splinter. Furthermore, this wood type is unlikely to crack when changing the hammer head.

Get in touch

We hope to have given you a taster of an overview of our selection of hammer and mallet tools here at Alec Tiranti. Besides this introduction, we also offer wood carving mallets, carvers mallets, and sculptors mallets, to name a few.

Should you require any further information on our hammers and mallets, please do not hesitate to contact us. Someone from our team at Alec Tiranti will be happy to answer any remaining questions you may have. You can reach us by sending us an email at enquiries@tiranti.co.uk, or if you prefer to speak with someone directly, you can call us on +44 (0)1635 587430.

When It Comes to Creating Beautiful Sculptures and Pieces from Stone, It All Starts with The Right Set of Tools.

Stonemasonry is a traditional form of sculpting that has existed for centuries. While it remains a timeless art, the tools used in this work have become refined and perfected, and finding the right tools for you is one of the most important steps. Here at Alec Tiranti, we stock a variety of stone carving supplies, ranging from tools, to kits, to materials, and to cleaning equipment. Today, we will be taking a look at our set of stone carving tools, their uses, and how they will help you in your stonemasonry activities.

Stone carving kit

Our stone carving kits equip you with all the basic essentials needed for stone carving and stone work. All of the tools included come in a brown suede tool roll, to keep them pristine and as sharp as possible by protecting them from external damage. In here, you will find a diamond whetstone, essential to keeping your marking in the stone precise and in the desired depth. As well as this, you will find claw bits, a claw bit holder, a marble point, a light stone chisel, heavy stone chisel, bullnose chisel, and a medium dummy mallet.

Stone carving chisels

While our sets of stone carving chisels are sold within the aforementioned kits, we also sell them individually as separate items. The type of chisel you choose will depend on several factors, including your preferred style of working and the desired effect on the stone surface. Our straight edge Europ TCT Chisel, for instance, will allow you to effectively chip away and cut off large surface areas of the stone face.

With the TCT Lettering Chisels, you can delicately and precisely carve lettering into the face of the stone you are working with. Alternatively, the bullnose chisels we offer will allow you to cut internally curved mouldings, such as cavettos. These come in a number of different head sizes, depending on the area you wish to mould, and come in heavy or soft varieties, dependent on the type of stone you are working with.

Other stone carving materials

Besides stocking a wide array of stonemasonry tools, we also provide a variety of stone carving materials that can assist you in creating beautiful pieces of stonework. Our range of rubbing blocks allow you to smooth stone down after you have finished carving, and for shaping smoother bends and dips in the stone. The softer the texture, the lighter the smoothing finish will be.

Get in touch

If you have any remaining questions on the stone carving tools we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us. A member of our team here at Alec Tiranti will be happy to provide you with any information you may require, when assessing the necessary tools and equipment for your stone masonry. You can send us an email at enquiries@tiranti.co.uk, or if you prefer to speak to someone directly, you can call on +44 (0)1635 587430.

All About Our Ceramics and Pottery

Here at Alec Tiranti, we are pleased to provide ceramists and potters with a wide array of tools and glazes. We provide our products to professionals, as well as dedicated hobbyists, so you can only expect the best when it comes to ceramics and pottery materials. We maintain an inventory of all the pottery supplies that UK sculptors require to carry out their practice, the history of which stretches all the way back to ancient, and even pre-historic, times.

Our Tools

We offer a great range of pottery tools to our customers, including rolling pins, strip tools, wooden ribs, coiler tool sets, handle makers, knives, hole cutters, needles, clay extruders and guns, slip trailers, pallet knives, bow harps, clay cutters, pottery turning tools, stainless steel turning tools and other related tools. Other pottery tools include a deep cleaning tool, sponge, bamboo brushes, twin point spears and fettling tools. We also stock a pottery tool set, which includes a wooden potter’s rib, modelling tool, ribbon tool, sponge, needle tool, loop tool, metal scraper and wire clay cutter.

Our Glazes

Once you have formed the desired shape of your ceramic creation, your attention will turn to the glaze. At Alec Tiranti, we have a plethora of different glazes to choose from. The right finish will not only offer the best aesthetic to the finished product, but it will also preserve the quality of your piece. Whatever your medium of sculpting, we offer a large range of glaze colours and types. Within each choice, you will be met with even more options, for example, our range of Spectrum Stoneware Glaze is available in 83 different colours. Additionally, we stock Underglaze Pencils and Spectrum Underglazes. Furthermore, we can provide you with related products such as body stains, wax resists and more.

Restoration

Here at Alec Tiranti, we can also help you with any ceramic restoration project you may be undertaking. In order to restore an antique pottery piece to its original glory, you will need to use the best materials. We are able to provide everything from the raw materials to the finishing glazes to aid you in your restoration project.

Ceramics and Pottery Experts

When you buy your ceramics and pottery materials from us, you will also benefit from our expertise in the field, as we are able to provide you with any information and advice about the products we sell. If there is a particular product you’re looking for, or you need some tips on your restoration project, we can lend a helping hand.

Contact Us

For more information about our products for ceramics and pottery, or any other items, please get in touch with us by completing our online contact form, or by emailing us at enquiries@tiranti.co.uk. Additionally, you can find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London from this contact page. A member of our team will be pleased to help you with any queries you may have for us.

Providing you with the Tools for Effective Health and Safety Compliance

Here at Alec Tiranti, we are committed to ensuring you are provided with both the finest and most essential items and materials for your studio, and the necessary information and advice regarding your health and safety when using them. In this way, you can keep your artist’s studio or workshop fully stocked, while also making sure you are prepared and equipped to respond to any potential hazards that may arise while you work. Today, we will be taking a look at the health and safety products and services we provide at Alec Tiranti.

Health and safety equipment

We stock a wide range of equipment designed to protect you and your health while you work. The nature of sculpting and professions working with materials brings a number of potential risks that while easy to avoid, are even easier to stay properly protected against. Our eye protection goggles, for instance, are a central form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will shield your eyes from any dangerous contact with airborne substances. These include wrap-around eye protection glasses, anti-mist glasses, and goggles for molten metal; these will provide you with a protective barrier from dust, small airborne particles, sparks, and anything else that could cause harm to your eyes. 

Respirators

For those working around substances and materials that expel airborne particles such as dust, toxic chemical gas, or smoke, a respirator will filter contaminated air for you to breathe while you work.

We are equipped and trained to advise you on how to best use your respirator to ensure you use it properly, safely, and get the most out of it as possible. For instance, when using a respirator, there are several signs one can be aware of in order to know exactly when their breathing has becoming unsafe. Laboured breathing, for instance, is a sign of a build-up of particle residue on the filter and tells that the respirator needs to be disposed of and replaced.

Further, should you be able to detect any odours or tastes, this is a warning sign from your respirator that it is damaged and must be disposed of immediately. Ultimately, a respirator should be adequate for the hazard at hand, reducing the exposure to a level that is required to protect your health as the wearer. It should also be suitable, in that it is the right fit for you as the wearer, the task, and the environment.

At Alec Tiranti, we are able to advise you on the right choice of health and safety equipment for your needs. To do so, we take into consideration the type of hazardous substance you are dealing with, the amount of this substance, the form of the substance, the type of work you are carrying out, and any other variables that may influence the type of respirator required.

Get in touch

If you have any remaining questions on our health and safety equipment products and services, please do not hesitate to contact us. A member of our team will be happy to provide you with more information. You can call us on +44 (0)20 7380 0808 or send us an email at enquiries@tiranti.co.uk.

 

Professional Grade Restoration and Finishing Products

After a century of supplying artists and craftspeople in London, across the UK, and throughout the world with the finest sculpting and finishing tools and materials, we have come to realise a fundamental truth: that the value we as humans place on an object depends on far more than just its utility.  Rather, when an item affects us on an emotional level, we can form a deeper connection with it.  It is to this end that so much attention is paid to the colour, the texture, the fit and finish of manufactured products.  It is also a key consideration for sculptors, restorers, and other artists, who seek to stir the emotions by their work.

We are Alec Tiranti, and it is our goal to offer our customers the most comprehensive range of professional grade restoration and finishing products available anywhere.  From basic tools to ground breaking and innovative chemical treatments, we are the only contact you need for the finest sculpting materials.

Brushes and knives are among the most fundamental items for restoration, and many other crafts too.  Squirrel hair is stiff enough to maintain a point, but not so elastic as to cause unwanted ‘spring’ when completing delicate work.  Therefore, we carry a full range of squirrel brushes.  Basic flat nylon brushes are another best seller.  Cutting tools are also essentials for most crafts, so take the time to browse our full range of craft knives, including surgical scalpel blades of various profiles.

Our inventory includes materials for restoring and finishing a wide variety of materials, from metals and ceramics to wood and stone.  At each stage of the process, we will only supply products which have been proved to provide the highest standard of results, time and time again.  For example, the first step in restoring an antique metal item to its former glory will usually be to remove any unwanted build up from he surface.  This can be achieved by applying an appropriate metal cleaner.

Once the item has been thoroughly cleaned and reassembled, a range of metal finishing products can be used to make it look brand new, or old, or whatever suits the needs of the artist.  Adorning new and vintage items alike with a traditional patina is currently very fashionable, and at Alec Tiranti we stock some of the finest patina paints and treatments available.

We are proud to be the sole UK distributor for Sculpt Nouveau products.  A company of artists specializing in sculpture maintenance, their chemical treatments are easy to use to create a variety of effects which will stand the test of time.  We especially like the Birchwood Casey patina products, which allow repaired metalwork to be artificially aged to match the piece as a whole.

Once the piece is completed and the surface is treated as desired, it can be protected and preserved by using an appropriate metal oil or clear guard product.  For more information on these or any other products, please contact our team today.

Modelling Tools

Alec Tiranti have been suppliers of superior quality sculptors and model makers equipment for over one hundred years, and during that time we have established a reputation as the dealer of choice for discerning artists and professionals.  Our current range of modelling tools is second to none, and includes general sculpting tools as well as more specialized items for specific materials and disciplines.

The modelling tools UK sculptors most often shop online for are the traditional clay sculpting implements which have been used by masters for generations.  We therefore spare no expense when it comes to assembling an inventory of clay modelling tools using only the finest and most reputable brands in the business.  As a complete solution, we can happily supply you with tools, modelling clay, a sculpture modelling stand, and a range of other accessories all specially selected to compliment your latest project.  Feel free to contact us and ask questions about products, techniques, or just about the art of modelmaking in general.

Crafting on a small scale necessitates tools which are fine enough to achieve the desired degree of detail, yet have the robustness to tackle hard materials when required.  It is therefore small wonder that many model makers and miniaturists turned to dentistry equipment to find thee flexibility they needed.  Our range of dental modelling tools incorporate all the stainless steel items you would expect to find in such a kit.  These can be used in conjunction with other stainless steel modelling tools, as well as those made from wood, plastic and wire, to work in extremely fine detail.

An additional advantage of wire modelling tools is that they can be heated to achieve certain effects on different modelling materials.  As a result, they are very effective as wax modelling tools and can be used for cutting, sculpting and welding.  Those who like to work with modelling wax may also like to peruse our selection of purpose designed wax modelling tools, which include hand tools and also burners for melting the material.  As always, Alec Tiranti has you covered for raw materials as well as high quality tools: find supplies of white modelling wax here.

Modelling plaster for decorative applications is a time honoured craft, and one which requires many hours of dedication and the finest modelling equipment to do it justice.  It is the consistency of modelling plaster which sets it apart from clay modelling materials in terms of the tools used, while modern materials like Newplast modelling clay and Milliput modelling clay may be better suited to traditional clay modelling tools.

Don’t forget, besides our tools Alec Tiranti can also supply other items of modelmakers equipment such as modelling stands, modelling castings and latex modelling supplies.  We aim to provide a full tools and materials supply service, so always get in touch with us first for all your sculpting and modelmaking needs.  And with a friendly and experienced team ready to give you advice on your latest project, make the call to Alec Tiranti today! 

Mouldmaking – Relying on your Supplier

When it comes to art, the materials have to compliment the skill and expertise of the artist.

It is not always a fair or reasonable proverb to suggest that ‘a bad workman always blames his tools’.  Sometimes a good workman, and even a professional expert can rightly blame the tools and materials, if they are not professional expert materials themselves to match the quality of his work.

Alec Tiranti proudly supplies the modern-day sculptor with excellent materials and customer service. We offer a range of products, tools, services, plus help and advice on how to best use them.

Our staff at both Thatcham and London shops have a wealth of experience and practical knowledge to call upon and are always willing to try and help.

When making moulds it is important to choose the best method to take an accurate register from a pattern. For example, during the process of casting a mother mould, you might need a thickening agent to create a thick enough skin layer to pick up fine detail. This in turn will allow for a smooth easy removal of first the pattern when the silicone or latex has cured and then the cast component with minimal sprues or air bubbles over the surface of that casting, this will also give longer lasting moulds with good repeatability.                                                                                                                            Choosing the wrong product to manufacture your mould can cause a waste of resources, not to mention frustration and ultimately increase costs too.

There is sometimes a need for experimentation but if others have already experienced those pitfalls, Tiranti staff can help you avoid making the same mistakes as others in the past.

Alec Tiranti not only take care to provide you with the correct materials of the highest quality, but to hold a suitable variety of necessary tools and supplies that work alongside your chosen materials.

A fine example of how thorough Alec Tiranti are in supplying and supporting their many expert and skilled clients, is the descriptive content given when purchasing your mouldmaking equipment from the website, which highlights the materials that work together to create your mould.

To make this even simpler, you can browse and choose from a whole range of mouldmaking products including latex’s, silicone’s, plasters, vinyl plus our staff can give help and advice on using these to their best effect.

Latex is a natural rubber, derived from tree sap, pre vulcanised Liquid Latex is refined and used for a range of mouldmaking applications, most especially within the special effects world because the latex can be peeled off easily, also it tends not to cause adverse reactions when applied direct to the skin (except in cases where the person is allergic to latex).

Latex can be brushed over a pattern, or the pattern can be dipped into the liquid latex to build thicker layers, we also supply a specialist Latex Thickener to speed up the product buildup over a pattern surface.

Latex is economical way of building strong and durable strip off moulds for casting plasters, cements and waxes in particular.

Silicone is a man-made synthetic rubber compound developed to mimic natural rubbers, yet have more development potential. Over the years there have been many developments of silicones to give better heat resistance, better mouldmaking properties, softer and more compliant.

Condensation cure silicone rubber is available in a range of viscosities’ and strengths depending on duty, from free flowing silicone rubbers suitable for cold casting resins, to the stiffer harder silicone suitable for higher temperature casting applications such as white metals casting.

Putty Silicone is used for making simple moulds of components which are difficult to access or move. Ideal for taking moulds from a vertical or horizontal surface, Putty Silicone is more commonly used for ornamental or foundry type repairs of larger pieces. Putty Silicone is also commonly used for ceramics repairs too.

Addition Cure silicones are a group of faster setting products designed for mouldmaking applications such as polyester and polyurethane resins and also for body moulding. The faster setting times and smaller kit sizes make these products ideal for smaller moulds in particular.

Tiranti Vinamold is a hot melt vinyl rubber based product developed for mouldmaking, the product is soft, compliant and also re-usable. Once finished with, old moulds can be re-melted and re-cast to make new moulds.

Alec Tiranti ltd. were one of the first to develop cold metal resin casting opening up a way to cast highly detailed model that looks like a convincing metal cast object. Once polished and finished the only thing that gives the product away as resin, is the overall weight – resin components are much lighter. We can supply a variety of resin products including Polyurethane’s, Polyesters and Epoxy’s all of which have their own particular attributes for high quality finish.

Alec Tiranti Ltd is proud to supply the modern sculptor and model maker with the best quality products, services and advice from the 1800’s to the present day.

Mallets and Hammers

The hammer is a much maligned tool, perceived by many as simply a blunt instrument.  Here at Alec Tiranti, we know nothing could be further from the truth.  Far from being a simple tool, in the right hands a sculptors mallet and hammers can be compared to the instrument of a musician or the pen of a poet.  Such a conduit of expression, it is critical that a sculptor has access to the right tool for each task.  After all, you wouldn’t present a pianist with a violin.  To this end, our range of carving mallets and hammers are specially selected to offer every artist the widest possible choice of tools of different sizes and materials, all manufactured to the highest standards.

Scopas lump hammers are made from malleable iron for the safety of the user – less inclined to chip or splinter.  These are not just basic tools in the vein of a workman’s hammer, they are designed to be balanced and durable to yield consistent performance for an extended period.  The high quality ash handle provides a slight compliance which improves comfort and reduces fatigue.  They make great stone hammers as they are ideal for use with steel chisels.

Just as a golfer will have their preferred club for a given shot, so different stone carving mallets can be used when working different materials, or on different parts of the same project.  To complete an entire, complex sculpture with various levels of texture and detail using only a single stonemasons mallet is a project few artists would be prepared to commit to.  Different stone mallets respond differently, and are suited to different techniques.  And then of course, there is always the matter of personal preference.

Our five sizes of beech mallets are turned from kiln dried beech, perfect for woodcraft as they can be used without causing damage to materials or equipment.  Ranging from three to five inches, these are a simple and practical design produced to the highest standard.  A more heavy duty option are our hard wearing nylon mallets which come with a wooden handle in weights of up to 1.4kg.

Some stone and wood carving mallets are designed for a particular task or type of work.  A good example of these specialist tools are dummy mallets (Scopas and Italian brands are available).   The narrow malleable iron head concentrates the force and allows for excellent articulation in use.  These qualities make dummy mallets ideal for intricate carving work, such as lettering.

Our Sculpt Nouveau Products

Patina is a word used to describe the effects of the process of ageing metals by, the change in the chemical composition of the surface of an object over time.  These changes are identified by variations in the texture and colour of the surface material, and specifically, include layers of oxide which build up on that material. It could, therefore, be said that rust is probably the most widely recognized form of patina. The word is also used in connection with non-metallic materials, such as wood and leather; in these cases, ‘patina’ usually refers to a worn or distressed appearance, rather than a chemical state.

Patina type metal finishing products are used to intentionally initiate (or in some cases, simulate) the chemical reactions which cause corrosion and therefore patinate the surface of the metal. As a result, the kind of oxidation or discolouration which would usually build up over a great many years can be achieved in just a few hours.

At Alec Tiranti, we carry a wide range of Sculpt Nouveau metal finishing products which can add various patina finishes to steel, copper, aluminium, tin, and other metals. We offer Sculpt Nouveau products because they provide the artist with the means to control the patination process and achieve ageing effects of unparalleled quality.

Suitable for application by brush or spraying, simply select the shade which matches the material you are working in. Other finish colours from Sculpt Nouveau include blue, green and brown, with each product carefully formulated for superior results when applied to the recommended materials.  If you can’t find just what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team who will be happy to help.

Sculpt Nouveau products, of which we are sole UK distributors, are also highly effective as antique restoration products.  Restorers may prefer a patina effect to refinish a historic metal item, as it may often be more valuable in unrestored condition, despite being discoloured by patina. However, a damaged patina – where the oxidation has begun to flake off from the surface of the piece – may diminish its value further still. In these cases, refinish and restore products can be used to ‘repatinate’ the item, for an overall consistent finish.

Preparing your piece for patination, and preventing further reaction after the desired effect is attained, are key to successfully achieving these finishes. Sculpt Nouveau also produce metal preparation products such as degreasers, and top coats and lacquers.

Besides metalworking chemicals, Alec Tiranti stock antique restoration products for many other materials, including ceramic restoration, pottery restoration and wood finishing products.

We can always offer technical help and assistance with your application, if there is anything you are struggling to find, or have specific questions about Sculpt Nouveau or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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  • Company Registration: GB 5272613
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