21 April 2010

Cuttle Fish casting

I did some cuttle fish casting earlier and I'd like to share the process with you. I really like the natural pattern and the material. AND > It is a great way to use up your scrap silver.

How do you make a silver cuttle fish casting? You start by going to a pet shop and buy at least 2 cuttle fish bones. You need some sandpaper a flat surface, files, masking tape and lots of heat.

Sand the cuttle fish bones until they are flat and fit together perfect. Than with a file make the shape in one of the bones you want to cast, here just a plain rectangle. With a cutter make a gutter around the chosen shape. This is to let the air out when the silver goes in. Also make a V-shape in BOTH bones to poor the silver in later, about 4 cm or 1,25 inches in size. 


Brush the bones to get more detail in the wavy pattern. 


Make extra tiny vents from the chosen shape to the gutter/air vent.


Sprinkle both sides with a pinch of BORAX powder. 


Tape (masking tape works fine) the 2 sides together, make sure there are no other holes than the V-shape. (Hold it against the light to check) Than set it up, ready for casting. 


Melt enough silver for the cast, better too much than too little :-) Here a small kiln is used and a torch to speed up the melting, but you can use just a torch by itself as well. 


Keep heating the now liquid silver while you bring it to the mold. 


Poor the silver in the cuttle fish cast. Once all silver is in, put the cast in a bowl (make sure it is heat resistant) of water and best take outside, cause the smell of burning cuttle fish is not the nicest. Once cooled take cast from cuttle fish.


This is the cast, cut in half and the left side has been rolled. This is an option if you want to make your cast a bit bigger by rolling it, it will flatten the pattern a bit, as you can see. If you flatten it altogether, you will have a fresh sheet of silver. 

These are the results of an earlier casting which I did.

2 comments:

  1. great post! I made sepia casting a few years back ! you reminded me to try it again....Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete