Oh The Places You’ll Go, Skulls, Pewter in Plasticine Molds

Years ago I read a great many Dr. Seuss books to my daughter a great many times. I think that they moved me even more than they moved her, “Oh The Places You’ll Go” and “The Lorax” most of all. I am both embarrassed and not ashamed at all that there were times reading these to her that I was not-completely-successfully holding back the tears from how deeply they affected me. “Oh The Places You’ll Go” surely had a guiding effect on my life, and I’ve tried to go out and live — and create — the most-often-but-not-always wonderful kaleidoscope world it imagines. Whether you’re a fan of the story or whether you are simply a fan of such a rainbow existence, I’m sure you will enjoy this beautiful Burning Man-themed edit of Dr. Seuss’s poetry.

Fullscreen is the best.

Also if you’re in the watching mood, I’ve been enjoying the videos on TommyEdisonXP’s YouTube channel which document his life as a blind man — ever wonder how a blind person cooks food? Uses an ATM? Sets up a DVD player? There aren’t a ton of videos but hopefully he’ll make more. The cooking one is especially good.

Yesterday Caitlin and I walked down to Kensington Market to have a Big Fat Burrito which was delicious as always. The walk was about 8km in all, which while a decent length walk for anyone, seems to be about my upper limit these days, down from almost double that a month ago. I don’t know if that’s because of the damage I did climbing all the zip line towers in Mexico, or if it’s just part of the normal decay and destruction. I feel like I had a couple months where I was feeling alright, but now I’m back to pretty much constant unbearable pain. Tomorrow I start a new pain treatment program that I have mixed feelings about, and they’re supposed to stick me in a CT scanner soon to see how the brain damage aspect of the disease is progressing. I’ve actually been doing a ton of programming lately (as in software development) to try and keep myself from going nuts from the pain — doing data processing and analysis and simple AI work seems to pull me out of the physical and keep my mind broadly occupied better than just about anything else I’ve found.

Back to nice stuff. As I said, I’ve had lots of people with dainty fingers asking me to do a skull ring that’s appropriately sized for them. So I have been making roughs for a potential new skull ring or two. The ones in the picture are size 6 and 7, and can be up-sized to a 9. I’m also making them all with gem-set eyes, which is why the eyes are hollow. I like the way the gem-set eyes look so much that in this run they’ll be that way by default. I hope to have the molds made for these in the next few days, and I just got shipping notice that I’ll have some new cabochons later in the week in addition to the gems I already have here.

Finally, I wanted to share with you a little experiment I did the other day for making quick one-offs. I discovered that the “melting point” of plastecine is high enough that you can actually pour liquid pewter into it. The pewter that I use melts at the incredibly low temperature of 138 degrees Celsius — not much more than boiling water amazingly! I found that you can take your positive (in this case a little fairy figuring wearing goggles) and press it into the plasticine to make your mold. I also put in a little graphite to reduce air bubbles, although I didn’t do enough tests to be sure how big a difference it makes. The pewter then, melted stove top, is poured right into the depression in the plasticine and allowed to harden there. To my surprise, it works perfectly. For applications like making one-off coins or medals for a kid’s party and things like that, this seems like an ideal zero-cost method. The pewter can be bought for around $20 a pound (or you can just melt down broken pewter cups from a used/junk shop), and that’s the only special item you need!

Perhaps I will write a tutorial some time.

Other than that Caitlin and I have been watching the “Face Off” SyFy reality show which is pretty fun. It’s one of those “Top Chef”/”Project Runway” type contest reality shows, but it’s about theatrical and special effects makeup. The second season starts soon, so we grabbed the entire first season to watch over a couple days and have just one episode left. There’s a lot in the show that overlaps with the sort of jewelry work I do because of all the mold making, so it’s interesting to me on a first-hand level.


  1. Elizabeth wrote:

    I’d love to see a tiny grey with black cabochon eyes. I so enjoyed that video. Bittersweet maudlin musings.
    To your health and allowing suprises, ‘miracles’ even.

    Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  2. Jon Pawson wrote:

    That video just made my day. Hopefully, I can take the feeling it has given me and use it this year. 2012. Let it be another good year!

    Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
  3. Miss Liss wrote:

    Now I want to go the Burning Man… the rhyme makes me weep. I’ve got to get out of the Waiting Place! May 2012 be the year. Thanks for the link, and thanks always for your blogging.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *