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New member from Canberra Australia


Simon F

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hello All

 

I have just joined the forum and am just saying hello to you all. I've been reading various sections of the forum for a few days now, and it is full of interesting info - thankyou all.

 

My background is that I did a jewellery design degree at the uni of South Australia in the mid ninties and after a break of a few years (pursuing sporting dreams) I started a small studio a few years ago. However, while at uni I was fortunate enough to meet Sue Wraight and see some of her carvings. We were set a project to carve following this meeting, and then I was hooked. However I didn't do many carvings until recently, when I decided that I'd rather be doing carving than jewellery.

 

I'm working on casting my carvings in bronze - to make them more affordable for the customer. Getting good waxes (i'm using lost wax casting) is the hard part. The size of the pieces means that the wax must be perfect, as they are small enough that you tend to scrutenise them closely, and any bubbles from the wax for is obvious in the cast metal. However they are also big enough that injecting the wax in the manner of jewellery casting, causes them to be prone to bubbles as the air in the mold stuggles to escape as the wax is forced in. So at the moment I am pouring the wax in instead of injecting. This is giving better results but not without it's fair share of frustrating failures!!!

 

the picture - if i've managed to attach it properly - was my second carving, done a few years ago after the project we did at uni.

 

cheers

Simon

post-1673-1197707567.gif

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Hi Simon,

 

Thanks for the introduction and photo. Sue Wraight is a great carver, and you are fortunate to have had classes with her! I look forward to seeing more work from you. Do you have more pieces in progress? Are they netsuke sized? I am curious about what you are working towards. As you read about what others are doing in the metals area of this forum, you may find even more to be interested in when working with metal!

 

Leon, colder parts of the world, indeed! Our thermometer read -20° F (-29° C) this morning, and is still down there! I am about to find a hot bathtub...

 

Janel

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Welcome to the forum Simon. Wonderful carving and impressive for only your second piece. I am a believer in having someone else do the waxes and castings. That allows you more time to do the carving. Your time is precious and there are others out there who have the experience in casting to do an excellent job.

 

Congratulations and best to you,

Fred

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I have been looking into the option of having the casting done by professionals, as my thoughts have been running along the lines of Fred's - getting some-one else to cast them allows more time for carving new originals. However it's not cheap to have done! It will work out to be over AU$100 per item (for the size item in my original picture)then there is having them cleaned up and patinated. There may be no way around this though.

 

Janel, for these pieces my plan is for them to be functional pieces. For example this is to be a bottle opener.

 

post-1673-1197762624.gif (this is Castello Box from Africa - approx 90mm long)

 

the rear feet are the hooks to lift the bottle cap and the tail is the fulcrum. I've done a larger piece, a Frill Neck Lizard door knocker, but it's not fully resolved yet and I don't have photos of that.

 

The colours in the coloured pieces are done simply with powdered fabric dyes mixed into a week solution and painted on. Subsiquent aplications allow for richer colours.

 

post-1673-1197763532.gif (European Box - appox 100mm long)

 

I do still want to carve one-offs though. Carving specifically for casting means you have to be cautious of undercuts etc and that stiffles the design a bit. My main reason for the casting approach is at this stage I think I'm more likely to make sales in the lower price range, esp in Australia. I think I'd be happy doing just the one-offs but there is plenty of competition out there - all of you!! Ha Ha.

 

cheers

Simon

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Welcome, Simon! Excellent carving - you were very fortunate indeed to meet Sue Wraight - none better. Is that a sugar glider? I'm not that familiar with the smaller critters in Oz, but some are very interesting and cute.

 

It's a Feather Tailed Glider, similar to a Suger Glider, but smaller and I think rarer. The tail is similar to a feather in appearance.

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great carvings! how long and how many applications does it take to build up a saturated color (like the green on your turtle) with the fabric-dye technique? Can you still see the woodgrain through it?

 

It's a while since I did those pieces, but I think it took about a half dozen applications - the weeker you make the mixture the longer it takes, but allows you to slowly reach the colour you want and not over do it. it just needs to dry between the coats so you can see the real amount of colour, but this doesn't take long as they are water based.

 

the grain shows through on the turtle - at least on the shell where it is smooth. this works well on the shell as it adds to the reality. I don't think it shows up so much on the others esp if there is some texture such as fur etc.

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