Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's been a while

I recently took a class in wax carving and casting. I had no previous experience in this medium and seriously wished to learn. This is what happened. The teacher was Nanz Aalund, a professional goldsmith who had been teaching for many years. The place was Peter's Valley Craft Center in New Jersey. I spent 6 days in the country, no internet, only peace, and homecooked food. I went running a few times with Jordana, a quilter there for a machine quilting class. I would like to see her again, maybe for lunch in the city.

My classmates and I learned to carve wax into a ring, with specific geometric lines. I was always terrible at geometry. After carving our model, which was the same for everyone, we altered it to our own taste, making certain the balance was good, and it wouldn't turn.

Me toiling away with dental tools

Then a funny thing happened. We had done the investments, and placed them in the kilns overnight. The next morning, Nanz went to turn on the gas tanks to heat the silver for casting, and lo and behold, no oxygen. Not so funny.

Jennifer was the studio assistant, and she went off to fill the tanks, but in the meantime...

One person had her silver melted by two acetylene tanks. When the container was moved to pour, it was dropped and all the molten silver splattered on the floor, and almost Nanz's bare legs. That was not attempted again.

Next we started carving something of our own. Mine was a ring setting for my Etsy shop. A bezel setting with narrower sides close to the setting.

Mine came out great.

During the class, Nanz told me SEVERAL times that I should just send it out to be cast. Now what's the fun in that?

Jennifer is a fantastic enamelist check out her site

1 comment:

  1. Hi from Etsy Blog Team, looking forward to reading more of your posts.