I’ve been at it again. I’ve been off with ‘flu, the proper one, not man’ flu. I had a blank left from making my shaving bowl and I few days where I felt fine as long as didn’t attempt to move too much. So I sat there with a bit of beeswax and started on another project.
I figure if I’m going to use wax from my own bees, maybe I should do something bee themed. Particularly since I have a talk to the local bee association to write. Poking around in my photos folder I found a picture of my queen and it looks like a good basis for a design. I’m using a piece of foundation as a base because I’m not a bloody masochist and can’t be bothered to make a piece of comb from scratch. The queen however I shall put some effort into.
My casting method – blow torch, bean can and gravity is crude at best and I’m putting a lot of detail into the model, this may go wrong. The mold is one shot – opening it involves a hammer but that’s half the fun and if it doesn’t cast, I’ll start again.
One smack with an ingot shatters the whole outer mold piece – plaster gets really brittle when you fill it with scalding hot metal. It came out so easily I nearly dropped it. The core is a bit tougher as the metal shrinks around it as it cools but ten minutes with a chisel clears it out.
Trimming and smoothing the overspill is a couple of hours work, then polishing with wire wool, fine sandpaper and finally burnishing with the back of a spoon.
Good old nitric acid again makes the inky black patina I love – and ruins the polishing so again with the burnisher and cloth.
I was thinking of adding legs in wire but I don’t think it needs it now.