Earrings! Let’s talk about these, shall we? We’re going to learn, and learning is FUN!
I cast these earrings using cuttlefish bones.
“But Katie,” you might say, “However did you get the cuttlefish to hold still and help you make these lovely earrings?”
You crazy kids, the cuttlefish were DEAD! They had ceased to be; they were no more. They were EX-CUTTLEFISH, so don’t be daft.
Cuttlefish are in the same family as octopi and squid. Unlike octopi and squid, the cuttlefish possess a soft, porous internal structure which helps regulate their buoyancy: a cuttlefish bone or cuttlebone. Cuttlefish bones often wash up on beaches, and are also harvested when cuttlefish are caught for their meat.
These bones have been used as a tool by metalsmiths for thousands of years;we saw them in half, carve them to make molds, and pour molten metal into them. The cooled metal retains the texture of the cuttlefish bone, which looks a bit like wood grain. That texture can be played up or down, and for these earrings I played it up.
And because diamonds can take the heat of molten gold, I cast these champagne diamonds in place. Stuck them right into the cavity I had created, and doused them with gold.
TBI and hand forging don’t go well together, and so I experimented with casting while Riley was sick. The cuttlefish bone technique is a keeper.
Hey! Here are some pictures of Matt using cuttlefish bone to cast a piece of silver. He forged a spoon from this piece.
Pretty cool, huh? I think so.