Flock of… Bears?

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Several of my new designs made the magical transformation from wax to silver this past week. I always love casting - having started in the world of clay and big flames, I’m not afraid of molten metal.

Back when I sculpted in clay, I used to heat my pieces up to around 1500°F in a kiln. Then I’d put on a fire suit, grab a huge pair of tongs, pull that red-hot piece out of the kiln, and drop it into a trash can full of shredded newpaper which would instantly go up in flames. The result would be a spectacular glazed finish known as raku.

Casting has all of the heat of raku, but the pieces are much smaller, and nothing goes up in flames. On the bright side, I get to play with a nice big torch, molten metal, and a centrifuge, which slingshots the red hot silver into my mold.

These are my two casting trees for the week. In the top one, you can see the two halves of my new bear design in the background, hiding behind a flock of birds. The second casting tree has the second master for my elephant along with several amphoras.

I’m really having to tinker with this elephant to get both halves to join up correctly, so I’ve ended up making a second master, from which I’ll make a new mold. This is the most complicated piece I’ve designed and cast so far. It’s taking some time to get it perfect, but it’s going to be worth it!