Sunday, 19 April 2015

Pewter Micro Models... Part One - A New Experience!

I had recently sculpted three models, all one inch tall; Topaz, Garnet and Peridot. 

I wanted to have them cast and reproduced, to give people the option to have them in their collections, seeing as they soon became very popular with a lot of hobbyists! I know of a couple of sculptors that have produced mini models this size and reproduced them in pewter metal, rather than resin.

There are many reasons for this; not only is it cheaper, there is less chance for air bubbles, you can melt it down again if you go wrong (unlike resin which sets) and it is durable! I ordered the gear (including the moulding materials, the pewter itself and also a crucible to pour the metal) and got cracking.

The first thing to do was to clay up the model. I used Peridot for the first model, as I figured he would be the easiest...

Once this was done, I mixed the moulding material with the catalyst and poured. It is different to the other silica moulds I have made - it is brick red in colour!

I used a fair amount of catalyst too, so it set rather quick (not too quick though) so then it was time to get it out, take the clay off from the other side, and to then pour the second half. So far, so good!

The first mistake here was that I didn't use any mould release for the clay. If I had, it would have all come off a great deal easier. I know for next time, however, so it isn't all bad. 

Overall, the mould was a success. However, the first pouring didn't go as planned... In fact, this photo below was the last casting (of about 4 or 5 attempts!) before I gave up for the evening. As you can see, not all of the legs cast (but this was the best attempt! My first attempt only had a neck!)

When it came to pouring the metal, it was incredibly smooth and rapid, meaning it was difficult and extremely limiting with the pour hole I had. I knew how to get over this hurdle, I just had to try again...

Stay tuned for Part Two!


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