Cuttle (Fish) Bone Casting

by laurie jane kern on April 11, 2010

This is a class that Mary and I took at Farrin O’Conner the weekend of March 24. The class was taught by Carl Stanly who also taught the Fold Forming Class I particpated in [you can read about it here ].

Mary drove to my house and then I drove us to Pasadena. We arrived in time to do some browsing in the shop before class started.

We began the class with Carl showing us the sample ring he had made. Then we proceeded to go outside and prep and sand our cuttle fish bones.

Every step of the way, Carl gave detailed instructions and demo’s – which was great since none of us had worked with cuttle bone before.

After cleaning up the bones, we designed our rings, carved the shape into the bone, and then moved onto melting and casting our rings. Mary and I both used scrap silver we had so we did not have to purchase any casting grain. There were only two stations set up for casting and most people had never done this before and so Carl did the casting for almost everyone.

As for me, I did my own pour but I wanted Carl to watch me in case I did anything wrong  I have only cast ingots and so casting a ring in an cuttle bone, in my mind was a bit different. Guess what, it’s not!

The ring came out great; but it is rather “BIG” – so I am still deciding if I want to recast it or finish it by mouting a cab and wearing it as a pendant.

After we finished casting, everyone else worked in their rings but no one really finished theirs as there was just too much to do.

I, instead, tried to cast some Shibuishi – I don’t have an oxygen set up at home and Farrin does, so I thought I would use the opportunity to cast some ingots. In the end, got a reasonable sized ingot but I was having pour issues. The problem was that the torch was not large enough to keep the melt hot and the crucible was a bit to small for the amount being casted and this too added to the heat issue.

You can see the pictures from the class and their descriptions by following this link to my kernology classes 2010 page (link opens in a new window)
Pouring metal

laurie jane kern

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Diane April 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Great video of your cuttle bone casting. What fun. I want to see the finished product.

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