With the molds at foundry waiting wax pour, and a model for a new possible commission finished and delivered, I burned off some Xmas Fidgets for the yard. This year I made center-stars for the bows out on the fence and porch, each created out of an aluminum pie pan and two coke cans. The ornaments around the porch survived a windstorm that took down 30 trees in the local graveyard and flipped semis a bit further north; my figet is waning, but I had plans to expand the flagpole fidgets. I made a big glowing green & shining aluminum star for “zombie Clay” to hold in the back yard- he holds different things through the year, and needed something seasonal. The big pine tree out front is lit top-to-bottom at night, and I make knicknacks to dress it out for daytime. They are mainly little practice bits and fails that are repurposed as stars. I had cut about 90 cups for a seamline on the Lab molds, and used the bottoms and rims to create a daisy chain- yikes!
Elizabeth and I set up the tree awhile back. Of note this year are the 40-year-old clothespin marching-band descending the tree, made by E’s mom before Disco existed. Also pictured with the Marching Band is one of three new Insanity-Balls E made since last Xmas; Bowl of Cream.
When last we saw the Labs they were getting Smurfy. The next step is creating a fiberglass mold over the silicon Smurf mold. This is an itchy and smelly layer of carcenogenic doom that a part of me always tries to believe isn’t really happening- so no pictures. If you want to see the fiberglass process look to the Gambel’s Quail file. The fiberglass mold has been created and removed from the silicon layer, and these images show the process of cutting the silicon mold along the seam/separation ridge.
I found a great alternate use for exercise bands: I attach one end to a steel shelf across the room and the other end hooks to a spring clip that pinches on the mold and pulls at the seams. I use two bands to act as two helping hands to pull the mold open. This keeps my hands out of the way of the exacto knife as I cut the seam in crisscrossing zigsags that will key back together like a big zipper and keep the molten wax from escaping the mold.
I tried two alternative mold keys (wedge & sphere shapes) that lock the silicon layer into the fiberglass, locking them together. The sitting dog had wedges, and after a little snipping and fenagaling they popped securely into their spaces! minor disaster averted, minor success logged.
The big success is another mother mold process is successful- as a disaster at this point means the entire work is lost.
Next they head to the foundry for wax pour, then I retrieve them and pull out the waxes and Chase them of seam lines and imperfections. Then I run them back to the foundry where they are cut apart and cast in bronze sections. Then I pick up the sections and grind them out and weld it all back together, then Chase the welds and etc. til they are perfect.