Okay folks, for day 2 of the CSFF Blog Tour, and as promised, here are the photos of me making the prizes for contest #2 — MERLIN’S SHADOW:
This is my Excalibur hilt mold I made specifically for pewter casting jewelry pieces. I also made a mold of the pommel, and with these molds I can cast in three different sizes.
And here’s one of the wooden plugs I made to press the pewter into the mold. If you don’t want to buy silicone to make your own molds, you can carve the whole mold out of wood or clay.
Here’s the pewter melting in a cast-iron skillet in the kiln.
Notice that the kiln only needs to get slightly over 500 degrees to melt pewter. I could do it in an old toaster oven, but my kiln has better temperature control.
Here’s my first pour. Notice the wooden plugs press the extra pewter out. I cut these scraps off and just throw them back in the kiln.
The pewter has cooled. Silicone can handle pewter temps, but it could never handle bronze, which has to heat up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. For that I have to use the lost-wax process.
These are my first three finished pieces. Lots of work still to do!
Here I making the smallest pieces using the tips of the guard.
The finished pieces!
All the flanges have been cut off, the edges sanded, and the centers finished as well. Notice the three different sizes. Each piece has imperfections, but this only adds to their specialness … no two are alike!
A close-up of the largest piece and it’s integrated triple-spiral Triskelion.
Now I’ve hot-glued them all to the bottom of a plastic tub. This is to allow me to pour red epoxy resin in the centers.
Now I’ve blackened the pewter around the triple spiral. This will allow it to stand out once the red resin is poured in.
I’m measuring out the resin and the hardener. Notice the red dye, soon to be added.
The red dye has been added … it took quite a lot of drops to make it dark.
The pouring had to be done very carefully!
The pour is complete!
A close-up of the triskelion … my Merlin Spiral!
And here’s the finished jewelry pieces. The largest were too heavy to make into a necklace (oh well!), but they are really cool! My daughter, Ness, put the chains on the others.
These prizes go to the 7 top winners of the MERLIN’S SHADOW contest! Expect them in the mail soon!
- Stephanie Tullis…Large piece with The Merlin Spiral logo, as well as a Kindle Fire HD
- Rebekah Gyger…Large piece with The Merlin Spiral logo, as well as a iPod Shuffle
- Breanna…Medium Necklace
- Brittany…Medium Necklace
- Deborah O’Carroll…Small Necklace
- Hannah Troupe…Small Necklace
- Sophie Loban…Small Necklace
As well … I will soon have a limited number of these pieces for sale, so check back soon!