Frog and Lillypads - Zapins

Discussion in 'Lost wax casting' started by Zapins, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Finally finishing up the frog and his lillypads. I have a flower as well. I'm hoping to finish casting it in about a week. Stay tuned!

    I made rubber block molds of the leaves (thats why they are sitting in the clay walls). The flower I just cut petals out of a sheet of wax and joined them together. I don't think making a mold of the finished flower will be possible. Too many overhangs to pull out of a mold cleanly.

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    Tobho Mott and Jason like this.
  2. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    Looking good man! Allow me to give you a valuable tip about casting those lilly pad leaves.... Before you do your 4th layer, wrap some .032 stainless wire around those flat leaves a few times. Ceramic shell has poor chemical bond to bronze and relies on mechanical bonding to hold steady. To put it in english.... the only thing keeping your shell on those leaves from flopping open during the pour will only be the thin edge running around your leaf hanging onto the sides. Just the weight of the molten bronze can pop them open. The alternative would be to bury them completely in sand before pouring and hope the pressure of the sand can hold back the weight of the bronze.
    I learned this while visiting barry in baton rouge. He was casting something very similar, and had a bitch of a time with them until he started giving them a few wraps with some wire. He said it's not really that bad to remove during breakout.

    Nice flower btw.
     
  3. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Thanks. I'll probably bury it in sand then. Got a decent amount of it hanging around the garage. I might even weld up a proper metal box for pouring. A little upgrade from the baking tray I use. Might also get some chicken wire or something. Definitely think I'll do at least 6 coats on the leaves they have a good cleavage plane along the surface of the leaf which is going to cause issues during burn out. Maybe a boil out would be easier.

    I also ordered some bronze tig rods, hopefully they match the color properly. I don't relish the idea of having to cast my own tig rods. They will break very easily during coating.

    I wonder how many 1/16", 36" long bronze rods there are in 1 lb?
     
  4. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    To answer your last question.... Around 25 sticks of 1/16" to a pound. Around 15 of 3/32"

    I can't see your complete sprue job in that photo, but boil out is definitely an option. I think the main thing is that if you do boil, remember the wax will float UP and if it's got a clear path to do so, you should be fine. You could always add some help to that back of those lilly pads. I think the flowers are great candidates for boil if they are done face down, which I think is what you are planning for them.
     
  5. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    I have no advice, just appreciation. Can't wait to see it all in bronze!

    Jeff
     
  6. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    FWD to around the 12:50 mark. Good stuff here running the patina on these frogs and lilly pad. ;-)

     
  7. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Good patina work. I think I woulda preferred the frogs separately from the koi.

    Not sure if I will be doing a patina like that. Or just buffing them up. We will see!
     
  8. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    I like the lilly pads. The frogs do look a little odd attached to the fishes mouth. We had koi in a pond when I was a kid growing up in florida. Those fish were hungry 24/7.
     
  9. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Redoing the flower since it failed to cast correctly. Lots of spalling defects. I will try it differently.

    What do you think about this spruing method? Do you think the petals will cast as sprues with down turned blind ends? I think they should but who knows.

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    This is the first flower that failed. I tried to do it all at once.
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    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  10. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    Why all the individual petals?? You'll just have to WELD them later... I would be tempted to add some 1/8" wax from the tips back to the main sprue.
    This does look like a good candidate for my boil out method with them pointed that way... TRY IT!
     
  11. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Yeah maybe I'll do that, add a stringer to the tips just in case. Hmm although I think they shpuld probably fill. I have quite a lot of head pressure from the height of the pouring cone so I think it should force metal into all the crannies. The boil out method freaks me out lol. Fear of the unknown and all that.
     
  12. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    Wuss... All I can say is it works with suspendaslurry... Remet I just don't know. These are the times I miss having artospy around. Wonder what he's up to these days.o_O

    That photo above with the holes is a royal mess. :eek:
     
  13. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Yeah I think the defects on the lotus were from the first layer spalling and delaminating. I think I need to mix up my slurry more according to directions to improve the strength of it. Particularly the first coat.

    I've been reading quite a bit about spalling. It is pretty interesting. I'll share what I found in a new post. I think it makes a lot of sense with certain defects I've had over the years.
     
  14. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    Count me in zap. I'd like to learn more about resolving problems. If ya dig on the R&R site, they have a newsletter with good stuff. Dwell time is another little know factor when dipping. Saw something recently on that one. Something I learned recently, it's important to blow off loose stucco before going back in for another dip. Turns out, the shit that falls off in your bucket screws with the chemistry. Who'd a thunk it?
     
  15. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Pads are welded up in the way I like. I repaired the frog a bit. There were some annoying defects on it that I couldn't abide. So he's ready for polishing. The flower should be done tomorrow then it's a bit of tig magic and I'll have it all zippidy zapped together in place ready for patinas and finishing work (which may take me another 12 years at this pace).
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    Jason likes this.
  16. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    Ribbit! How thick is that lilly pad? I've got some large flat waxes and wondering whats the best way to sprue them.
     
  17. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    It's just a hair under 1/4" thick. I cast them vertically. It worked easily with no flaws. 20180603_235406.jpg
     
  18. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    cool.. thanks. My little windows should be safe then.
     
  19. Zapins

    Zapins Silver

    Yeah they should cast no problem.

    I'm thinking green patina for leaves, liver of sulfur for stems and brown ferric nitrate for the base. Coated with clear brass lacquer or maybe bees wax. With the frog buffed to high mirror finish.

    What do you think?

    I'd like to enamel the petals with glass. Maybe even the leaves with green glass.
     
    Tobho Mott likes this.
  20. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    Sounds good.. I'm just not a fan of high polish stuff. How about a light LoS on the frog and buff back the high spots? (eyeballs, tips of the legs, high parts of the feet...) you get the idea. Gives a layered look, keeps it interesting. A green scrubby pad works good for lightening the brown. I want my bronze looking like bronze and not brass. Brass went out of style in the 80's when India flooded the US with trash. People see brass and remember that cheap shit. You're too young to remember it. Unless you're into painting bronze which is popular at the moment out here:rolleyes:, keep bronze looking like bronze. Especially if you are selling it to an unknown client. The recent show I went to in Dallas had very few highly polished pieces. They reserve that look for uber high end stuff. Just my take on it.. discussed this at length with Fritz. Those guys are knee deep in this industry and they know what sells. I trust their guidance. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019

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