Tag Archives: casting

Sterling Silver Skull Money Clip

Sterling Silver Skull Money Clip

Sterling Silver Skull Money Clip

Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but waaaay back when I was doing a casting workshop as part of my silversmithing training, my husband requested a skull.

Sterling Silver Skull Money Clip

I carved this one out of wax, and after the casting process, it lived on my bench for a couple of years. Finally, I cleaned it up, and thought about what piece to create with it for the minimalist man who has everything!

Sterling Silver Skull Money Clip

A money clip was the answer. This is the only piece I have ever made my husband, and it was a long time coming – but I think he found it worth the wait. This is a one-of-a-kind piece – not only because I made it for a loved one, but because I don’t have the specialist equipment required to do casting. The perfect gift for a metal-loving guitar player!

Cuttlefish Casting

As part of the goldmithing course I did in 2012 I attended a weekend casting workshop. We did some lost wax casting (more on that later), and also some cuttlefish casting. Yes, really using cuttlefish! Or more correctly, their little (or not so little) cuttlebones.  I hasten to add no actual cuttlefish were harmed in the making of this jewellery – their life expectancy is around one to two years, they die soon after mating, and you can quite often find their cuttlebones washed up on the beach.

Giant Australian Cuttlefish

The procedure for cuttlefish casting is to cut the ends off the cuttlebone and cut it in half.  Grind down the two surfaces until they are flush.  Carve a funnel in one end of the two halves, and carve your design just below that.  Bind the sides together to form a mould, smelt your silver and pour it in!

Malachite and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

I cuttlefish-cast the bottoms of these two pieces, then set bezels with bails attached into the cast pieces to create pendants. One is set with malachite, the other with paua shell.

Paua Shell and Sterling Silver Cuttlefish Cast Pendant

I had to hand these pieces in as part of my final presentation, and then they were sold from my online shop.

Pharaoh Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish are members of the cephalopod family, like ocotpus, squid and nautilus.  They emit a brown ink to help them evade predators.  This ink, known as sepia, was once prized as a dye. Cuttlefish have green blood, due to haemocyanin, which carries oxygen and contains copper, unlike humans who have iron-containing haemoglobin filled red blood.  Cuttlefish have beaks.  Cuttlefish have chromatophoric cells, which enable them to change the colour of their skin instantaneously.  Aren’t they wonderful!  And coincidentally in keeping with my (unplanned) marine themed year!!! Thanks, little guys!!