Monday, June 27, 2016

Hot Wax

So I got into a bit o'casting.
No, not casting like fishing, but some metal casting.
I did metal casting in school, mostly bronze and aluminium, but this was large stuff, about a foot so tall.
The casting I'm doing now is small scale; rings and stuff.
How does it work?
Well, first you make your thing in wax, in this case a ring:

That's your basic wax ring shape.
Sort of.
It actually comes in a tube thingy, but I forgot to take pics of it.
So anyways, you file that thing down until you are ready to cast.
Then you put it in a thing called a flask:

The ring goes in the metal tube thing and the metal tube thing is filled with plaster.
From there it goes into a kiln which burns all the wax out of the plaster:

Meanwhile, the metal of your choice gets loaded up into a centrifuge thing.
The metal actually goes into a crucible where it is heated up and melted.
I couldn't gets pics of that cause I was working alone today and to to tell you the truth, I forgot all  about you, the reader.
The spinner thingy:

Once all the wax is burned out, it goes on the spinner thingy with all the molten metal, in this case fine silver, and then the spinner thingy is well, spinned.
Around and around she goes, centrifugal force well, forces the molten metal in the plaster mold.
If it all goes well, and lemme tell you, it doesn't always go well, you may get something like this:

That is like V.4 of the skull ring, V.2 through V.3 got melted back down because of artist error.
I added the emeralds later.
I'm not real happy with it, sort of looks like the bug-eyed skull dude, but it's technically the second one that made it through the process so I'm hanging on to it.
For now.
Anyways, this whole casting thing has opened up a new area for me and I'm pretty excited about it.
More on this later.
Right now, I'm working on the Secret Decoder Ring, you know, the one I use for Top Secret Flat Tire Communications, the stuff you, the reader, aren't allowed to read.
The next edition will be in code.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Small Hands

What I do during summer.
Which is what do the rest of the year too.
Except the hands aren't small like this.
Well, some of them are.
Going back to working in clay wasn't really what I expected.
I mean I expected to be really happy.
I was.
Kinda sorta.
Or maybe I was just distracted by all this working in metal again.
More on this later.

Friday, June 24, 2016

One Year

I'm back.
For my annual post.
Okay, not really.
About being back I mean.
Anyways, a lot has been going on here in Flat Tire Land!
Moving and shaking!
That's me!
There's some stuff we need to catch up on and some new stuff happening:

The jewelry enameling kit that came in the mail today.
That's right bling fans!
I'm making jewelry!
Well okay, that's a bit subjective as I'm not sure I'm actually making jewelry and not just a whole bunch of you know what.
More on this later.
I've also changed from photo teacher to ceramic teacher and there's a whole story there too.
Well okay, not too much in one sitting.
We got all year.
I think.
The Flat Tire presses are rolling again!
Read all about it!