limited edition of ten solid pewter cast hearts for Dragon Con are available only through Rivet Gallery. each heart was hand forged by myself in a pewter alloy consisting of 92% tin, 7.75% antimony, and .25% copper. they weigh just under 1 lbs. each and are 2.75''h x 2.5''w x .75''d. each one has an edition number lightly etched on his back.
read on for more information about them and how they were made:
this is the original sculpt. it was made like most of my sculptures out of poplar wood and williams rod.
and heres the little guy ready for the first half of the mold.
you can see pour spouts have been added as well as "spruing," or air vents made with thin copper wire. this will lessen the chance that air will be trapped in the arms and legs. he's boxed up in a wax based clay called plastilina. the bolt heads and negative slots make a locking system for the two halfs of the mold to fit nicely together.
the mold is an rtv silicone designed to withstand the 500+ temperature of molten pewter. before each side was poured, it had to be vaccum pumped, for even small air bubbles in the mold when heated to the working temperature will cause distortions. a few additives are then applyed to the surface of the mold to help with surface tension and mold preservation; without them, you will get horrible deformations and pock marks.
the pewter is poured from a crucible into the mold and takes about an hour before it can be demolded. heres a couple hearts cooling on the window sill next to my blow torch.
heres one playing on my shelf.
at this point, the pour spouts are removed with a bandsaw and then filed. after the spruing and chasing is filed too, they are buffed out on a wheel.
molten metal tends to do whatever molten metal wants to do resulting in each heart having its own unique surface characteristics. to bring those out, they were given a patina consisting of hydrochloric acid, silver nitrate, copper sulfate, and other things that caused burns on my arms. they were then ever so gently buffed and rubbed finish.
i probably acquired several new forms of cancer from making these, so i hope you enjoy them.