Geometric Desk Cast from Molten Pewter on a Beach by Max Lamb

Digging Out the Recently Cast Pewter Desk from the Beach

Carving the Sand to Make a Negative Mould with a Kitchen Knife

Made in a single morning on a beach in Cornwall, this remarkable table was cast from molten metal in the sand by Max Lamb. The geometric pattern was achieved from a negative mould that Lamb had carved into the sand, using little more than a kitchen knife and a straight edge. A 6 hour period was required for this painstaking sand sculpture, and so the date of the casting had to be carefully matched with the tides.

Close-up of the Geometric Traingular Lattice in Sand

Digging Out the Sand Pattern with a Knife

The desk was cast in pewter, an ancient alloy composed of 92% tin, 6% antinomy and 2% copper. The decision to use pewter was no doubt at least partially based on its remarkably low melting point of just 200°C, and thus the group were able to melt it down on the beach in 30 stainless steel saucepans over simple gas camping stoves.

The Team Preparing to Pour the Molten Pewter from Saucepans

Pewter Bars

180kg of pewter was required for the desk and Max Lamb was helped by students from the Falmouth University 3D Design department in this tightly timed task. The pans of molten pewter has to be poured in quick succession in order to create a single mass of metal.

The Finished Pewter Desk by Max Lamb

Close-up of the Molten Pewter Surface

The natural texture of the sand appears on the legs and underside, whilst the smooth seemingly molten surface of the pewter remains on the top surface of the desk.Max Lamb

Washing Down the cast Pewter Desk with Sea Water

It took just over an hour for the molten pewter to cool, after which time the desk could be dug out and lifted from the sand, and washed with the nearby seawater. While the geometric pattern of the triangular tabletop is very intricate, the desk bears all the hallmarks of a truly handmade piece with its minor imperfections.

Max Lam's Pewter Desk on the Beach

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