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Cuttlefish casting is a quick & pretty accurate casting method. Its applications are limited only by the thickness & size of the cuttlefish & the fact that you can only cast once. It is difficult to achieve fine detail on the surface of the casting, but the cuttlefish creates a very unique pattern on the surface.
Step by Step for Cuttlefish Casting:
- Deciding what to cast
If you are looking to use an already made ring or item the material needs to be firm and solid such as a plastic, metal, hard wax and wood (if there are no soft spots) in order to withstand being pressed into the cuttlefish, it is also possible to rectify it to suit your needs.You can carve and scratch your own free hand design by shaping it with wax carvers, scalpel blades, burs, files and any other necessary tools you can think of
- The Casting Mould
A medium sized cuttlefish should work perfectly fine when cut in half and then put against each other,It should be so flat, that no light should shine through when held together so the halves can be rubbed against each other in order to flatten the soft sides. Place the ring or design in the thickest part of the cuttlefish and then place the other half on top until the two ends meet, once again.
Next up, you will remove the mould halves and model, without damaging the mold in the process. Using wax carvers can make this easier. Cut a funnel shaped sprue into each halve from the design up to the top opening of the cuttlefish- it must be around 5mm wide. Cut small vents for air on the sides to free pressure as the metal enters the mould.
Let the mould dry under a warm surface such as a lamp.
Then when dry wrap the two together tightly with binding wire so that it doesn’t shift or move when being cast into.
In general the molten metal should be poured at the lowest temperature possible in order to prevent the mould from being permanently burned.If you pour too slowly it will solidify quickly and not cast correctly. Sprinkle a little borax in with your molten metal to make sure its perfectly clean.
With the three points made above, you can now start your journey with cuttlefish casting and create anything from rings to necklace charms.