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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Today was a pretty spring day, around 55 degrees- the winter blaghs had me wrestled down on these figures til now. Cmonster was feeling loungy after yesterday’s spring-snow ski-slushathon up at Park City, but I actually had a bit of gumption. The pony car gave up its stall, the workbench folded down from the wall, the compressor filled itself up, and the TIG welder rolled out of storage. The first stage was grinding down all the sprewbars and fitting the “windows” in place. The small man welded up quickly, followed by both halves of Elizabeth. Tomorrow I weld up the separate halves of Peter. Once all the separate halves have all their windows restored, then I’ll chase them while they are still easy to roll around. Once this is done I’ll weld the top half to the bottom half, for both Peter & E- then chase out those welds. Still quite a way to go…

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Private commission production! A single trout is being privately commissioned from my pre-existing mold. The molds had gotten a little dusty- the image with both sides of the mold show a contrast of washed and unwashed. I want the trout to be moving his tail, so each half of the mold must be done separately, then joined together. To get the movement in the mold I slump it over a bent sheet of metal for one half, then flip the metal and place the opposite side of the mold on the mirror curve. Wax is applied with a paint brush til thick enough, which takes awhile.

Once the two sides are painted in, they must be joined together. Flexing the mold for the movement of the fish compresses one side and extends the other- the gap in the side of the fish illustrates just how much movement has been added as I have to cut one side in half to match the head and tail. To fill the little gap I created a section of the fish to fit and seamed it into place. Next I’ll heat up the tail and give it a bit more flex, then add on all the fins. Once it is all together I’ll tweak the seams, add a few new spots, then it will be time to swim on down to the foundry.

When last we saw these folks they were in wax. Now they have returned to the studio after bronze casting, and are ready for me to weld. The windows cut out of them are part of the lost wax process- a ceramic slurry is built up around the wax figures, but first the wax figures are cut apart to ensure the slurry coats the inside as well as the outside of the figure. The casting was clean. The only place with some shrinkage/bubbles is in the tight spot under Peter’s chin.

We’re getting a nice snowstorm today/tonight- but then things warm up near 60 for awhile and I’ll kick the pony-car out of the shop and get welding.

Costa Rica’s environmental policy is strong due to the Ecotourism industry, so make sure to get out and explore if you ever find yourself there. You will see a great diversity of critters on just a mile of river- we even saw a rare mated pair of Scarlet Macaws fly overhead (only 300 remain in the wild)- more importantly your tourism adds incentive to protect endangered wildlife by encouraging sustainable farming and dedicated wildlife preserves.