Recently, I participated in a cuttlefish casting workshop. Cuttlewhat?? Cuttlefish bone! Cuttlefish are in the same class as octopi and squid. I know, it sounds weird (and it certainly is different!) but once you do it, it's really interesting. The workshop was taught by the ever enthusiastic (and super talented artist) Megan Hazel. She has such a fun and positive way of presenting things that the day went by very quickly.
The first thing that happens is that I take a pair of cuttlefish bones - you know, the things you buy for pet birds to sharpen their beaks on - and sand them flat. Once the soft side is sanded to be as flat as possible, I carved the design into it. The design can be nearly anything that can be drawn! I learned that it shouldn't be too deep or you get a really, really heavy piece! In the picture above, I was carving a ring blank.
Scrap silver (and boy, does that stack up over time!) is then melted in a crucible until it is molten and flowing. See?
I am playing with fire and sharp things again, I love it!
The smell of burnt fishbone is a little strong but it doesn't last long!
The top right is a ring set with a 6mm orange cubic zirconia, top left is a pendant set with an 8mm white cubic zirconia, bottom right is a heart pendant set with a 4mm purple cubic zirconia and the bottom left is a band ring. I will figure out what the fifth piece (centre piece in the previous photo) will be and then make it happen. I look forward to the next opportunity to create pieces like this. :)
Until next time,