Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Cast away!!!

Well, I've managed to fuck up 4 castings at work within the past 4 days! Luckily, only one was for a customer! Yesterday, I casted a piece that I had carved -- a Maori-style fishhook, that I was going to give to a friend. It was a long, skinny flask. I weighed out the metal and all. When I went to cast it, all of the metal splashed out! It completely missed the flask. Nothing flowed at all. Ugh! So after the fact, I checked the centrifuge, and found a pin that holds the cradle for the flask was a bit loose. So I went ahead and tightened it. Now I know what to look for next time. Troubleshooting...

I did 3 castings today, 2 flasks were seed pod organics for Sarah, and one flask was for a client. The seed pods did not cast all the way, possibly for a variety of reasons -- the centrifuge needed to be wound more, the metal needed to be hotter when thrown, the organics needed to be reinforced with wax when they were sprued (they are very thin in some parts, which can cause problems).

And the flask for the client -- I threw 76 grams of silver. I was excited that everything flowed to the tip of the pendants. BUT!! Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there were surface issues towards the bottom of the pendant - just above the sprues. It looked to be that the metal was contaminated with a bit of flux. One out 0f the 4 turned out good (they weren't *that* bad, just a little problem). So I called the client. He was so cool about it, and will bring in his mold tomorrow so that we can shoot more waxes and re-cast them for him.

I don't know why I'm messing up so much! I just need to practice some more. I've probably done less than 10 castings in my life, so mess ups are a given. Plus, silver is a bitch to cast anyways...

Tomorrow, I've got 2 practice seed pod flasks, and a 14kt yellow and an 18kt yellow flask to throw. Hopefully, the golds will come out well!


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