I used the random number generator, and my winner is
Suz! from Katsui (Susan Reamy)
I have sent her an email.
Thank you everyone for participating and for leaving such kind comments on my blog!
Friday, February 11, 2011
I got a new casting pot and a smaller ladle that pours from the bottom. The pot holds the pewter temperature constant so it will pour more evenly, and when my ladle is empty I can just redip the ladle and keep pouring.Today I broke the number one rule of metal casting. I was using a stainless steel spoon to remove the dross (dirty slag that floats to the top of the hot pewter) and i forgot i had earlier taken the spoon out of some water. It couldn't have had more that a drop of water still on it, but when it hit the molten metal, the molten metal EXPLODED. I was lucky...i escaped with a red mark on my cheek and a minor burn on my shoulder. Fortunately I had safety glasses on - I wish I'd had my face mask on like I normally do and something more protective that a halter t-top.
and here are a few more items:
I also ruined one of my new good molds. it made a delightful mama fox and her kit and a papa fox....but whatever it was made out of it started to bubble up brown goo.. . i thought it might have left over resin in it, but it turns out it was the mold itself melting and most of the detail in the mold was destroyed... the mold itself is in the black long one in the first pic. below are the pewter creatures that had smeared details. they went back into the pot too.
live and learn.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Monday, February 07, 2011
I have been playing with my molds some more and I got 2 new ones......angel wings. one mold makes a tiny pair and the other is a multiple wing mold. I had high hopes for these molds.....
but alas - I was very disappointed! The big multiple wing is not the fancy one I expected.
pretty plain and undetailed...and VERY THICK! I think the molds were made for plaster, not pewter....
and the tiny wing.....
just weird formed.
oh well- that's the excitement when you have MYSTERY MOLDS.
But hey, look how cool this one turned out...and this is also a multiple mold...it makes 6 at a time!
It's a beautiful dove! I'm going to drill a hole in the tail so it can be a descending Holy Spirit dove.
and this is an ADORABLE tiny frog. Very heavy - a frog good luck piece to carry in your pocket.
Then I decided to try and cast my round rubber molds. These molds are made to go in a spin caster machine. The hot pewter would be poured into the center as the mold was spun at 4500 rpm's (it says so on the mold!) I put rubber bands around the mold and clamped it as tight as I could with bullnose clamps and I held it up on edge and poured the pewter in the center slots.
sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. it was hard to get the pewter into the farthest crannies...missing feet, missing tails on the teeny kitties...so I cut off the deformed bodies and made kitty-head beads! The teeny tiny bird molds I have it wouldn't fill at all...only part of a wing, no beak, etc. I will keep experimenting with those. I did discover that after 3 or 4 unsuccessful pours that I had a better chance of a successful casting because the mold was now hot and the pewter had more time to flow deeper into the mold. I finally got one big kitten and one little kitten to mold .. just one.
I can't really cast more than one or two at a time from each round mold....but at least with a little effort I know the larger molds are usable.
Once cast, the molds require a lot of finishing....I use a small handsaw to remove the sprues and extra pewter, and my dremel to remove the seams...then I polish the pieces with foam sanding pads from 150 thru 6,000 grit. Lastly I put them in my tumbler for an hour. The 4 little pewter pieces above haven't been polished yet. Later.