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This is a big cuttlebone, around 10 inches long, and is big enough to use for both sides of the cast. I cut it in half using a hack saw.


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The cuttlebone has a soft side and a hard side. Here I have sanded the soft side flat using 80 grit sandpaper. The two flat sides fit tight together.

Here I have sketched out the ring shank I plan on casting. The rectangular area is the shank. Off both bottom corners I will cut a groove to the top of the cuttlebone to let air escape. At the top of the shank is the funnel for the molten sterling silver.

These are the carving tools I use. The brush is to clean out the carved area, which also emphasizes the grain of the cuttlebone


The top image shows the shank carved in, as well as the sprews and funnel. The brush sweeps away debris and deepens the grain.

I tape my sides together, it only has to hold for a couple of seconds. You can see where I carved the other half of the funnel. If your cast is two sided, you need a way of registering the two halves of the cuttlebone. When the impression is initially made and the halves are pressed together with the original still inside, either cut notches or draw lines that can be alligned as you tape the sides together. Look into the cast and make sure there is no daylight seen between the two halves. If you can see between the halves it will leak, so more sanding is in order.

I'm ready to cast. I have a fireproof surface, scrap silver, borax flux, the cuttlebone in a can to hold it upright, another can of water to quench the cast after pouring and my ceramic crucible and tongs. I am using a Mapp gas torch, which just barely gets hot enough to melt the silver. Stay in one area until something melts into a small puddle and move the puddle around gathering in the remaining silver.

I sprinkle a little flux onto the crucible and fire it up. The flux helps clean impurities in the silver. You can see the scum of crud melt off when the flux is added when the silver is molten.

Here the silver is about ready to pour. Continue heating the silver as the crucible is tilted and the silver gets near the lip of the crucible. Then dump it in.

Here it is just after the pour. Now dunk it in water to quench.

Here it is after the cast is opened. You can see where the silver started up the two sprews. I cleaned it up and decided the shank was too thick. Do-over.

I decided to cast a small fish. Here it is carved up. I deepened the fins and tail before I cast it.

The finished result with a jump ring added. It took a few minutes to clean up the sharp edges.