Damn, I cast a lot of pewter yesterday and today!

On the big road trip that we just got back from, whenever I had a spare moment I was carving the masters for various jewelry and sculpture items. There is still loads of stuff in the queue, but I had a chance over the last couple days to make plenty of molds and have run a couple test casts, as well expanding my stock for the store. Clock’s ticking there — should just be a couple weeks now and I’ll have much of this for sale. Apologies for my dirty hands in the pictures… I’ve been working with graphite and other hard to clean stuff since I got back. Anyway… huge entry begins now.

Production Rings

I’ve got a bunch of production rings that are good to go now. By production I mean that I have molds and they don’t use any one-off components (like the meteorite rings do for example) so I can manufacture as many of them as I’d like. One of the new ones is this “ugly ogre” ring, for lack of a better title. I just made it for a goof really, passing the time doing some silly carving, but when it turned out nicely I decided to finish it off. This one has an 8mm lab grown ruby set in the eye socket.

I also made a SUPERHERO RING that I’m pretty thrilled with. It’s based on one of the old plastic Ken Doll rings that I made ages ago. I fabricated a mask for one of them and made a new mold.

Of course I’ve also been making more brainiac skull rings

…and my “Little Acky” (baby General Ackbar… IT’S A TWAP!) rings as well.

“Littlest Monster Shop” Paper Weights

As you know I have been making sculptures based on Nefarious’s “Littlest Pet Shop” toys in which I edit them to turn them into monsters and characters from various science fiction or horror fantasies. You may remember the “Mad Monkey” steampunk-esque alchemist that I’ve posted before. Stock is expanding on him. As I build up a mold collection, each time I do a casting run my stock grows exponentially.

While on the trip, I had along a chipmunk and I asked Caitlin and Nefarious how I should change it (I’ve been doing one-offs in plastic that I have posted in previous entries… I’m not sure if I’m going to go back and take molds off them or not) and they told me that I should make it out of wood. So wood it is — half faux wood, with leaves for ears, and a patch of mushrooms growing on the top of the head for hair. With that Gaia-vibe, I’ve also put a globe on the back of the head.

Today I carved a zombie pig while I waited for Nefarious at the swimming pool.

Froggy-Man Loves His Dino-Tooth

I made a little keychain or amulet that is holding (lovingly I think) a genuine fossil of a spinosaurus (think raptor meets sailfish) tooth. Right now it’s on a keyring but there’s no reason it can’t go on a chain instead. This was another idle carving. I’d coiled a piece of clay around the tooth (heavily lubricated so it wouldn’t stick) and never really thought about what I would make out of it. I think originally I got mixed up and thought it was a different tooth, one from a sea monster, and was going to do tentacles, but when I came to my senses and lost that plan, I just spent a minute staring at it with an empty mind, saw a silly character within the clay, and did my best to free him.

One-Off Custom Rings

Finally, I’m working on a wide variety of custom rings… Custom as in there will only be one made, because the ring is designed to fit a specific special item (like a fossil or a pretty rock) that I only have one of. For example, I had a bag of assorted semi-precious stones, and inside was this red-brown stone with sort of an “eyeball” on one side. Nefarious fell in love with it and asked me to make her a ring to hold it, so carved a gnarly “witch socket” with gross warty eyelids, a ridged “stalk” for the circumference of the ring, and then a monster mouth hiding on the inside part. Surprisingly it actually looks quite classic and formal when worn!

I also had a really cool little fossil of a sea urchin, with lots of detail, that I wanted to do something with. I guess I didn’t feel terribly inspired, and I thought that the item was so nice on its own anyway, so I carved a simple vertebrae/backbone design and mounted the urchin inside this curved spine.

Finally — I know, I know, this has been a monster of a bandwidth-killing entry — I made a ring built around a fossil of a seashell. I get that these shell fossils, even one as detailed and perfect as this one, are very common, so I wanted to go above-and-beyond. I carved a pair of merpeople, a mermaid and a merman holding a trident, with a shark swimming between them. I had to sculpt this whole thing under a magnifying glass!!! It’s interesting — my hands shake quite a lot, but the shaking largely stops when I work under a magnifying glass the shaking all but stops. Maybe it’s some sort of feedback loop?

Now I just need to find the perfect host for the store, because I have a looooong list of reasons why Etsy is a big turn-off.

10 Comments

  1. Evereything is so pretty! I love the shell one the most probably!!

    I reccomend checking out zibbet as a venu.. http://www.zibbet.com, I’ve been selling on there for a whie and have a few stores :)

    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  2. Gillian wrote:

    I <3 Etsy. My new fascination is with Cargoh.com

    You'd do much better with Etsy though… but I'm really impressed with the WordPress shopping cart plugin.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  3. Phrynozoid wrote:

    I absolutely love it all! Especially little “Acky”. :)

    We have ZenCart installed on our personal website and we love it! Before that, we had an account at BigCartel, which was good too.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink
  4. Lizz wrote:

    Dare I ask why not etsy? Was considering setting up an easy shop myself!

    Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink
  5. Jilary wrote:

    The shaking except when working on fine detail is actually a common phenomenom. Many people with Parkinson’s notice similar reactions, and the shaking is typically worse with idle hands.

    Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink
  6. Indebted wrote:

    Wow, dibs on the Froggie Man if he goes up for sale. I’ll be looking for updates about your store to make sure I get there first when/if he goes up.
    Your carving is getting pretty awesome, btw.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  7. Clare wrote:

    Might be worthwhile to look into shopify.com :-).

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  8. p7tms wrote:

    Long time, no see, Shannon.
    Hope all is well. I haven’t been in the loop for a long time now. Checked your page and noticed Makerbot being mentioned. Have you created one yet? From what I know of it- it’s all open source. And, since you are tinkering with Makerbot, might I suggest another website: instructables.com
    They have OODLES of idea for things to make (and a lot of the items are by recycling items). On that note, there are sections on there that have directions on how to create a CNC machine out of simple parts. Since the CNC part is pretty close to the idea of the Makerbot – it might be helpful. And then, the only thing you’d need to figure out – would be the plastic extruder (plastruder). BTW- one of the cheap ways to get the stepper motors for the CNC/ makerbot — is out of either printers or scanners. Scanners and some printers have the servo motors required for the CNC. And – in some of the printers (as well as old computer mice) they use encoders (which might be a quick and dirty way to have the servos “remember” their locations when moving along.)

    Catch ya later Shannon!!!!

    Friday, August 26, 2011 at 12:49 am | Permalink
  9. p7tms wrote:

    @ LIZZ :
    RE: Etsy. I thought they were good too – however, after a search brought up this ( http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011/03/etsy-users-irked-after-buyers-purchases-exposed-to-the-world.ars ) I don’t know how many people would feel comfy using etsy – especially if they plan on getting something – let’s say, adult in nature.

    Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink
  10. Gillian wrote:

    That “bug” has since been fixed, Shannon. It was fixed quickly, actually.

    I created a new shop on my website from bigcartel, and I love it!

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. [...] for “the shop”. The first of course is another variant on the Ken-doll ring (like the superhero ring that I just showed off), a mechanical man. Sort of steampunk I guess but I don’t want to go [...]

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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