Two Ring Teasers and a One-Off Metal Cup

I feel a little lost right now because Nefarious has headed down to her mother’s for a while (although I think we’ll see her next in a few weeks for a visit) because after five years of schooling (can you believe it’s been that long) here in Toronto, she’s getting her little-girl-wish (and her mother her big-girl-wish) and finally spending some serious time with her mom and doing the school year there. As you can imagine it was a very difficult and heart-breaking decision, but I tried to balance all the issues, needs, desires, and so on, and I thought it was the right thing to do. I feel very empty about it and I know that even with effort made to stay occupied the first month will be very desolate and I dread my emotions.

But I don’t want to write about that at length and make myself sadder than I am so let me share with you a couple of teasers. Here are two rings that I’m working on 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 down that slippery slope. I’ve been wanting to make a Styx Mr. Roboto mask (which is definitely a much more deranged and disturbing looking cybord) when I get a chance. Anyway, the other one is a spacebaby, a toddler astronaut based on the gear that Yuri Gagarin wore. Stars (well… CZ 3mm rounds) for eyes.

Those are just the current versions of the master sculptures. Speaking of mechanical men, I’m also doing a really fun Robocop jewelry comission that’s turning out great, but I think I’m going to sit on it until it’s actually up for sale because with any luck I can get some viral attention to drive sales and I don’t want to blow my potential load early.

I’m doing some more fiddling with lost wax casting (usually I make silicone molds). I’ve showed off number one and two — since then I’ve switched to a microcrystaline wax, a grotesque earwax clone — and unfortunately I didn’t have the sense to photograph number three — it’s a stunningly cute dog’s head ring that Nefarious made for her mother. She did all the wax carving — literally all of it, she wouldn’t even take my advice — and I did the lost wax procedure. It turned out great and we both aced our responsibilities. So this is now my fourth lost wax experiment and I pushed it further, with more complex shapes and a really aggressive level of detail. To be honest the biggest problem was getting all the plaster out of said detail. I still haven’t gotten it all out, but the patina treatment hides my laziness a bit. By the way, an electric toothbrush turned out to be the ideal cleaning tool, which isn’t too surprising.

Actually, I did have a bigger problem making this. After I poured the pewter into the mold, I took a break and laid down and read the latest comics in the Ender’s Game series (based on the Orson Scott Card sci-fi books). When I returned to check on the mold I found it lying on the floor, partially broken, with a hardened pool of molten metal underneath. Judging by the amount of metal, I was pretty worried that I was going to have major holes in the cup’s body and dog knows how much aesthetic mutation. Thankfully it still turned out alright.

In the end I lost a lot of the interior, which I fixed using the dubious method of melting the escaped metal with a soldering gun, letting the drips fill in the unwanted holes. It’s not perfect, but it did work. You can see that the inside leaves a little to be desired, but at least it’s there now. The alternative was to paint the outside with a protectant silicone layer to stop leaks, and then slosh around some molten pewter. I’m sure that would have turned out a lot nicer… but… although patience may is a virtue, it sadly is not my virtue.

I have no idea why my plans for the one-offs are. I may just melt them down and call it education.


  1. bastian wrote:

    Spacebaby actually is not an astronaut but a cosmonaut ;)
    And I feel you on your daughter’s departure and wish you all the power to cope there…

    Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 3:37 am | Permalink
  2. Sheldon wrote:

    I Have been following your blog for some time now and im completely in love with the rings you are making. i was wondering if you have them for sale, and how much it would cost for 4-6 of them. thank you =]

    Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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