Monday, October 21, 2013

Metal Casting So Easy Anyone Can Do It!

Oh Blogger Blogger, why do you torture me so?  I've just had an entire post evaporate!  Sigh. 

Hello All.

Now now, no need to be dramatic!
Pick yourselves up off the floor.  It's not like I've never written two blog posts in one month.
Just not recently.
Hey, did you guys notice I actually responded individually to your comments on my last post?
I know!
The sky is so thick with flying pigs I can barely see the sun.
Oh wait, it's a bit overcast.

Ok down to business.
You know, I sure do enjoy writing a post the first time, interjecting fun quips, chatty dialogue and pictures of Mr. Wonderful in his Polarbear club mode.
Not wrestling BQQ grills this time, other winter-water sports.
But nope, just don't have it in me to re-create the entire post.
Here's the necessary highlights without the usual, well to be accurate, unusual fluff...

Do you remember in my last post I mentioned a new article I was working on?
As they seem inclined to do, it morphed.  Kept growing and growing until it became a tutorial.
This tutorial.....

Truly it is.  Easy and fun!
Here's the semi-official description....

This is an easy technique to master, using materials that are readily available in your craft, hardware or stained glass store. There are no specialized tools or equipment required to make these metal castings. Nor is prior experience casting or working with metals necessary.
In no time at all, you will be producing your own metal castings that can be used in your assemblage, jewelry, scrapbooking or other craft projects.

In addition to learning how to cast metal, you will also learn how to make your own customized high temperature molds as well as how to construct an assemblage style cuff bracelet.

Yes indeed, for those of you who might be wondering if the molds you made
based on the directions in the Faux Raku tutorial will work for this technique as well.
They sure will.
Do you recognize this mold?

This is the casting made from a sea urchin mold.  
It produces an organic, raw texture that I just love.
I've attached it to an etched brass cuff....

Here's the finished bracelet.

This tutorial has links to the suppliers I used so that you can easily find all the goodies I used, like those lampwork eyes by NightSide Studio.

This octopus tentacle casting has been attached to a dimpled brass cuff
and adorned with these fabulous lampwork headpins by Numinosity Kim.
If you haven't tried these headpins yet, please do!
They are wonderful to work with.

Step by step directions for making this assemblage bracelet
 are also included in this tute.
Adorned with a beautiful lampwork raku leaf by Havana Beads,
a gorgeous enameled floral headpin by CeMaries
and hand dyed silk ribbons for a rustic romance effect. 

If you decide to give this technique a try, 
you'll be surprised at how quickly you can make 
an armful of ooak bracelets embellished with unique metal castings  .

The weather has cooled down enough to get back into the garage for a bit of torch-time.
This delicious small window of time when it's not too hot or too cold to work out there.

These earrings feature hammered sterling silver ovals, to which handformed sterling earwires have been soldered. Embellished with amazing polymer clay pods by still point works'  Claire Maunsell.  The detail and depth she achieves in her polymer work is extraordinary. Adding intriguing texture and subtle colors but little weight, it is the pods that make these earrings wonderfully unique. 
There's a bit of a feeding frenzy when she lists her pods, but if you can manage to snag some, 
they are a joy to work with.

These foldformed earrings feature heavily textured sterling silver drops, sterling disc beads and wee freshwater pearls in crisp and lustrous white hanging from sterling earwires. I have oxidized the silver, then lightly buffed it, to highlight the texture and the hammer marks in the form-folded metal .

These striking earrings feature hammered sterling silver rectangles, shaped and textured to resemble ancient artifacts, to which handformed sterling earwires have been soldered. Embellished with ancient Roman glass in the softest, luscious shade of light green with a subtle iridescence, Scorched Earth ceramic twisty spikes and matte black Czech glass beads. These earrings have an ancient/modern elegance about them. Looking as if they could have been excavated from an archeological dig or found in a contemporary gallery.

These handmade earrings feature hammered sterling silver ovals, to which handformed sterling earwires have been soldered. Embellished with platinum glazed Scorched Earth ceramic sticks and matte black Czech glass beads.  I am so addicted to Petra's platinum pieces.  They look great with anything and everything.  You have to see this luster firsthand to truly appreciate it.  She's recently made some new styles of beads and drops that she's finished with this fabulous glaze.  Run don't walk to grab some.  You won't be sorry you did!

These earrings feature hammered sterling silver shields and handformed sterling earwires. Hanging below the textured shields, the earrings have been embellished with bronze glazed spike drops by Scorched Earth.  I think Petra calls these "poking tongues".  Whatever we call them, they are wonderful.  A soft light-green wash framed with aged bronze.  Perfection!

These earrings are a lovely combination of vintage handwork and beautifully faceted stone beads. Encased within oxidized multi wire hoops, I've used soft purple vintage micro-mosaics with turquoise and white flowers as the focal. They are accented with rare faceted tanzanite beads, faceted pyrite beads,  labradorite onion-cut teardrop beads and faceted labradorite donut beads.

These striking earrings feature beautiful hollow glass beads that have a beautiful mercury glass effect. Paired with highly textured black lampwork headpins by Havana Beads, ceramic disc beads in gunmetal gray and oxidized coiled beadcaps, these contemporary, ooak earrings will add an edgy elegant touch whenever you wear them. The texture in the beadcaps harmonizes with the mottled pattern in the silver and the organic texture of the headpins in a fascinating and captivating way.

I've had some inquiries about these glass beads.  No, I didn't make them.  But you can be sure I will be making some, as these weren't available anymore when I checked on them a few days ago.

This charming assemblage bracelet features a beautiful, highly detailed, 3-d brass bird attached to an Art Nouveau style floral brass piece. This lovely piece reminds me of a bird taking flight amidst a lush garden.
Adorned with a delightful ceramic birds nest, filled with speckled brown eggs by Scorched Earth on Etsy, a black and white lampworked floral bead by The Victorian House, a vintage butterfly wing bezel set component with the mysterious silhouette of a pine tree, an actual game commission bird band stamped with the numbers 1345, a vintage mesh encased black bead accented with enameled green vintage bead caps, a carved stone turquoise colored rose, vintage brass enameled petals that I've stacked to form a fantasy flower, a carved stone bead, a rhinestone encrusted brass filigree bead and finished off with a clasp in the shape of a hand.
This bracelet was a joy to make.

These wire wrapped earrings are a unique combination of old and new combined within oxidized multi wire hoops. I've added lustrous white coin pearls with faceted ruby in zoisite natural stone beads. They are adorned with pink rose-enameled vintage brass components that have a wonderful vintage-chippy-patina. Extra visual appeal is added with the wee moss green freshwater pearls and gold Czech glass teardrops.

Yup, still on a micro mosaic kick.  Can't go wrong with these beauties.
 I've used beautiful micro mosaics as the focal. They are unusual in the shapes, settings and colorization. Encased within lacy edged marquis shaped bezel settings, the soft purple mosaics with turquoise and white flowers add an elegant vibe. The oxidized double hoops adorned with turquoise magnesite teardrops and wee moss green freshwater pearls lend a modern, boho chic feeling .

Any of you wonder whatever happened to the rattlesnake?
We recently got it back from the taxidermist, 
an engaging fellow with lots of interesting stories about local history.
This is how he handed it to me....

I couldn't wait to get home and see how it looked.

Very cool!

The rattle will become a "Thank you, Paula" keyfob.
Guess I should have realized this but didn't,
it still rattles!
Shows what I know about rattlesnakes, eh?

Fantastic texture and sepia-tone color.

Guess I'm not the only one who thinks that snakeskin is beautiful.
Check this out...

If I was just a bit more ambitious I could make a dress like this, eh?
Story goes that she killed 144 rattlers when she found herself in a nest of them!
Then made a dress.
The ultimate up-cycler.
Looks to me like she made herself a bear-claw necklace too.
Feisty lady.

Thanks to my imaginary friend Kathy for the picture

Well, that's all folks!

I'm hoping that hitting the "publish" button this time won't mean "evaporate".

Hoping you all enjoy yourselves till next time.

Why yes that is a praying mantis on a fern bicycle, just as you suspected!

"Bye-bye. Till anoda time"
(Pidgin English)


  1. I'm excited to see your castings, I have collected most of what I need to get started pewter casting myself now I just need to find the time to do it!!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Welcome Kristi! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. You do such beautiful metal work, no doubt your castings will be fabulous. Hope you'll share them!

  2. Oh boy - this is another 'must have' tute!! Your results look amazing!
    Ooooooh - how maddening to have lost your first post - especially given how much work you put into them. Bit like being bitten by the deadly Etsy Striper, but more annoying!
    Wonderful new pieces, as always - ahhh, that thing you do with my tiddlers - heavenly! LOVE those poking tongues. Oh, and such gorgeosity with those wonderful StilPointworks pods - they're amazing.
    I'm tooo envious of your wonderful snakeskin - although have recently been given an Arizona rattle, which is a delight!!!
    Mmmm, inspiring stuff as ever.
    oxoxo :O)

    1. Thanks much, dear Petra. But we all know it's your tiddlers that inspire and make the work wonderful. oooohhh do tell! What are you planning for your Arizona rattle?

  3. Well, that was rude of blogger, wasn't it?!

    Nice work on the tute - looking forward to trying it one of these days.

    As always, gorgeous work! Still, I've gotta say that the snakeskin gives me the creeps. After growing up in rattlesnake country, they continue to give me the willies to this very day. And that dress? omg!! :-O

    1. Yes, rude, indeed! Thank you for your kind comment. For some reason, dead snakes don't creep me out. But the live one right outside my kitchen door two days ago is still freaking me out. I don't really ever have to go outside again, right?

    2. Right!! ACK! What kind was it? Was it big or little? CREEPY.

    3. I don't have any idea what it was other than not a rattler. It took off when I started to step outside. ick...still giving me shivers. Yes! CREEPY!

  4. I've really wanted to try casting, so perfect timing! Is the tute ready to purchase? I couldn't find a link.

    1. Welcome Sheila! This is such an easy casting technique, it's a perfect starting place. Yes, the tutorial is all ready to go. Up on the right of the sidebar in my Anvilartifacts Etsy store, click either directly on the little picture of the tutorial or on the Etsy shop name and it will take you right to my store. Please let me know if I can be of any further help. Thanks for stopping in!

    2. Got it! Thanks! I can't wait to play and have so many ideas.

  5. dood! that metal casting looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!! stop giving me new ideas im already overwhelmed!!!! stopit!

    1. awww thanks and NO! You just keep cranking that "overwhelmed" into cool jewels and all is good.

  6. Love the snakeskin dress woman. Another brilliant tute with great mold ideas for all my scrap!!! You're just awesome.

    1. She is rather spectacular. Thanks so much for your kind and generous compliment. Seems like you don't need any ideas from me or anyone else about what to do in your studio, though. :)

  7. I have wanted to try casting forever so might be time to try. Thank you for sharing tutorials! My dad gave me a rattlesnake rattle years ago after tangling with one. It still rattled :-)

    1. Welcome Shannon! Thank you for your visit and comment. If you do try it, please do share your results. I would love to do a post with people's casting results. hahahaha, so I'm late to this party, aren't I? Well at least NOW I know about the rattles. I heard on some nature show recently, that now there are silent rattlers on rattlesnakes! EEEK! How's that for scary news?

  8. Oh this is what I've been missing on the blogs while I've been traversing the country. Consider me amazed! and most likely will be signing up for one once I settle down again. Great stuff and how I love how you used my headpins!

  9. Nice to hear from you during your whirlwind travels! Thanks for stopping in! I love using your headpins, so we're both happy with those beauties you make. Looking forward to seeing what new skills you have up your sleeve when you get back home. Enjoy!

  10. AA - well I'm overcome - so good to see another post and so full of goodies. Thanks for the info on casting; but my sight was really filled with the pleasure of seeing you get down and dirty with the torch - great suff you have produced on the anvil - love it. B

  11. What an amazing batch of new things!!! I must re read that several times and look carefully at all the pictures! I love the new earrings, I saw some brilliant connections!
    what are you gonna do with this snake skin? High spike heels that rattle when walking?


I love to hear what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.